Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli's "Million Plan," which was approved by the Israeli cabinet this week, will see a public transport lane introduced on Road 1 between the Sha'ar Hagai Interchange and the entrance to Tel Aviv. The Road 1 bus lane will link up with the existing fast lane and bus lane from Ben Gurion airport and the planned fast lanes lanes on the Ayalon Highway, ensuring bus lanes for Tel Aviv, as agreed with the municipality.
On the other hand, the ability to progress with the plan in other cities, which will be reluctant to move forward on it before the local authority elections in November 2023, may be more difficult.
The "Million Plan" aims within a year to reduce car travel by 1 million trips per day, out of 12 million trips. The main element of the plan is inaugurating 120 kilometers of public transport and carpool lanes (cars with three or more passengers) by converting existing lanes, or in other words reducing the number of lanes for cars, with only a driver and one passenger. 70 kilometers of such lanes were already planned before being expanded into the "Million Plan"
This will only cost NIS 150 million and save years of planning, statutory measures, expropriations and construction.
Work on the public transport lane from the Sha'ar Hagai Interchange on Road 1 is likely to begin in the coming weeks.
At the same time the new fast lanes from Shefayim to Tel Aviv and from Rishon Lezion to Tel Aviv being built by Netivei Ayalon are ahead of schedule with the section between North Tel Aviv and the Hashalom Interchange nearing completion. This will be an extra lane for public transport and a toll fee for cars, similar to the existing fast lane from Shappirim to Tel Aviv on Road 1.
The fast lane network won't be fully completed before 2025 but before them some sections of the new lanes will be open for use by public transport.
Enforcement on the new public transport lanes will be in the hands of a new Israel Police enforcement unit that is being set up within 120 days with police on motor bikes. While it is easy to spot cars on public transport lanes, the carpool element makes it more complex to sport cars without the adequate number of passengers.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 30, 2022.
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