Advancement of Public Transport Lanes
The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area is the largest and busiest in Israel, due not only high population density, but also the fact that 50% of all jobs in the country are located in the Tel Aviv Metro Area. According to the Ministry of Transportation, 6 million daily trips were made just in the TA Metro Area in 2016 (half of total trips made) and only 1.2 million trips used public transport.
Road congestion is expected to worsen in the coming years. A lack of dedicated lanes for public transport only exacerbates this problem. While construction is progressing on the Tel Aviv light rail system and an eventual underground Metro, today’s system is heavily reliant on bus travel which is often inconvenient and slow. The average urban speeds for public transport in Israel is only 16-19km/h, while other countries with dedicated public transport lanes speeds reach 25 km/h.
"Fast to the City" Program
As a result of 15 Minutes’ three-year campaign, 17 local authorities in the Tel Aviv Metro Area (“Gush Dan) have signed the “fast to the city” plan – a plan which will add over 300km of bus lanes to the region.
The great thing about bus lanes is that it does not require statutory approval, implementation cost is relatively low, and it can be completed in a short amount of time. However, the project has still run into many snags along the way, causing it to be delayed for years. Obstacles include lack of participation by planning officials to recommend route sections, non-participation by some municipalities, limited ability to enforce agreements with municipalities, limited agreement on prioritizing route sections/lanes, lack of priority for public transport vehicles at traffic lights, and ineffective enforcement of existing bus lanes.
This project was initiated to address urgent needs to streamline public transport infrastructure and dramatically decrease travel times for public transportation. This is expected to be an ongoing struggle.
15 Minutes is committed to keeping the spotlight on this issue by raising awareness among the public and putting pressure directly on decision makers in the Ministry of Transportation until progress is made.