An official Ministry of Transport document headed "The Traffic Jams Are Coming!" warns of a worsening of the overcrowding on Israel’s roads and damage to the reliability of public transport starting next month, when children return to school.
"With the start of the school year, and particularly after the Jewish holidays, traffic congestion will intensify on all roads in Israel," the Ministry of Transport National Public Transport Authority states in the document, adding, "even worse - the lack of regularity in the congestion will increase."
"The traffic congestion presents road users with two severe problems," the report states. "The first problem is of course the time wasted on the road, along with the air pollution and the harm to the quality of life. The second problem is more serious - the lack of regularity in the congestion. To be regularly delayed half an hour on a route is unpleasant, but at least it’s possible to compensate for that and set out earlier. When the traffic jams are irregular, the situation is much harder."
The situation is so severe that the Ministry of Transport warns of "massive congestion that will appear every few days and cause delays of an hour or more, both for public transport and for private vehicles," adding, "This is the most frustrating situation, one that leaves us without any reasonable ability to plan."
Punctuality statistics for public transport show that, in the period September-November last year, the reliability of buses fell below the minimum threshold set by the National Public Transport Authority. The Ministry of Transports expects the phenomenon to repeat itself this year, and that the standard of service will remain below the minimum until the end of 2023.
Minister of Transport Miri Regev is promoting a change that will allow private vehicles carrying more than one person to drive on urban public transport lanes. Professional sources say that such an initiative will make the standard of punctuality of public transport even worse.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 22, 2023.
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