Successes and Achievements
Advancement of Public Transport Lanes
The issue of creating more public transport only lanes is one of 15 Mintues’ most important campaigns.
Why Public Transport Lanes?
One of the most important consideration for any traveler is the duration of their trip from point A to B. As long as public transport trips take longer than traveling by car, most people will continue to choose travelling by private car. If public transportation is to become more attractive than private cars, it must be faster and more convenient. The best way to keep buses out of traffic and make buses more reliable is to provide dedicated lanes for public transport to allow them to bypass traffic and keep to their schedules.
Public Transport Lanes
• Shorten travel times
• Improves public transport reliability (buses and can stick to timetables)
• Allows increases in departure frequencies
• Increases road capacity
The implementation of the hotline has allowed for the collection of thousands of reports every year. The Transport Ministry uses this passenger provided data and has made at least 500 individual improvements in transport in the past year.
Local activist groups have successfully lobbied for increases in service in 70% of the towns they work in, including in the Northern Negev, Be’er Sheva, Rosh HaAyin, and Petach Tikva.
Following 15 Minutes Activism, several extremely popular, new bus lines have been created including line 15 in Jerusalem, line 146 in Holon, line 266 in Petah Tikva, and many others.
Small Claims Assistance
15 Minutes, in conjunction with Tel Aviv University, has assisted passengers to file thousands of small claims against transport operators, all of which resulted in compensation for passengers. Small claims can be requested for failures in service such as: extreme delays, failure to stop at a station, driver behavior, failure to make a trip, among others. We see small claims as a tool to influence transport operators to improve service, and we are happy to assist passengers to stand up for their rights.
All Doors Boarding
The process of boarding and payment validation doesn’t take long, until it’s dozens of passengers that need to do it all at the same time, prolonging dwell times at stations and lengthening trip times for passengers.
All doors boarding dramatically shortens trip times and allows drivers to spend more time driving and less time waiting. Since 2015, 15 Minutes has been petitioning the Ministry of Transportation to implement all doors boarding on buses in Israel (which is proven to decrease total trips times by 25% on urban lines!). In the first phase, the change was made on main bus routes in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. During the Corona pandemic period, almost all urban bus lines in Israel were upgraded with buses that allow for simultaneous all door boarding. The campaign began on the busiest bus lines in Jerusalem, where 15 Minutes activities deliberately boarded buses from the rear doors, protesting the wasting of valuable time by only allowing passengers to board from the front. Since then, we have kept consistent pressure on decision makers to make this relatively simple, but critical change.
Removal of “City Pass”
Due to the efforts of 15 Minutes activists in Jerusalem, the operator of the light rail, City Pass, was not invited to renew its operating contract. This move opened the tender up for competition, which will improve service levels and passenger experience.
Common Ticketing Across Transport Modes
Shared taxis are small minibuses that are a supplementary addition to the existing transport network. They operate on the same routes as existing bus lines, in addition to operating inter-city routes on a “fill-and-go” basis. In the past, the only way to pay for a ride was with cash.
15 Minutes, in collaboration with senior citizen advocacy groups, pushed for the ability to pay for trips using the existing electronic ticketing card, the RavKav. Paying with a RavKav enables senior citizens, students, youth, and disabled passengers to use the shared taxis and take advantage of their discounted monthly rates to utilize the entire transport network without paying out of pocket.
Reduction of Pollution in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station has long struggled with high pollution levels, which affect passengers waiting for buses and of course staff in the station. 15 Minutes filed a lawsuit demanding the station make improvements to protect the health of passengers and employees at the station. The lawsuit resulted in a ruling requiring the station install automatic doors to separate the passenger waiting area from the buses to reduce air pollution inside the station.
In addition, the ruling required the renovation of restrooms, waiting areas and the installation of at least 300 bike locking stations. In addition, a passenger lounge was built, including a waiting area, changing rooms, and Wi-Fi.
Enforcement Cameras on Bus Lanes
Protected bus lanes ensure smoother, faster public transport, particularly in areas that suffer from severe congestion. Bus and HOV lanes give priority to those who are choosing to share rides and space with others over those who do not and are contributing to congestion.
Although there have long been laws prohibiting unauthorized use by private vehicles on bus and HOV lanes, in many towns and cities in Israel they were not enforced, effectively negating any priority for buses or carpoolers.
Following consistent public pressure by 15 Minutes activists, legislation was amended to transfer enforcement powers to local authorities. Motivated by the financial incentive of enforcement, many chose to place cameras along bus/HOV lanes which automatically report and penalize offenders who are illegally using bus only lanes.
The implementation of cameras and fast allocation of fines for offending vehicles has had a huge impact on successful enforcement, meaning bus lanes are maintained for their appropriate users and people choosing carpooling or public transport options are able to glide through traffic jams and are rewarded with faster travel times.
15 Minutes continues to raise awareness on the importance of bus only and HOV lanes, particularly the critical need for enforcement. We continue to press decision makers in the Ministry of Transportation and in local authorities to increase enforcement even more to cover the entire country.