Sunday, January 3

The Metropolitan Public Transport Plan

It's very ambitious, has no budget attached nor a time table; the grand plan for the metropolitan  public transport reorganization. 900.000 People a day use public transport to get to Tel Aviv Jaffa and move about in it. Several companies, buses, trains, taxis and communal taxis are all part of it. 
Stations and Tel Aviv's "new" central bus station are some of its of its several existing and planned hubs (Wolfson Hospital junction being one of the newly planned hubs).
The idea is to have a few quick central and very frequent super bus-lines on special tracks  serve the city in cooperation with the train system and the metro (if and whenever the red line will be finished, under planning since the early 1970-ies, so allow me to cast a little doubt at the municipal hopefulls) will bring people into the city, smaller (and much less frequent buses- expected waiting time 20 minutes)  buses will take them around within the neighbourhoods. A minibus will serve Ajami neighbourhood (today there is no bus touring the inner streets of the 'hood) .

The central lines passing through Jerusalem Boulevard will be moved to Shlavim Street, currently a mostly deserted and unpleasant area of car workshops, garbage dumps and shady places. Not a residential area and i cannot easily imagine anyone waiting in that deserted spot for some 20-30 minutes for a local minibus to arrive to take them into the neighbourhood.
The new plan assumes cooperation between the different companies operating within the area between Netanya in the north, Modi'in in the east and Ashdod in the south. to share their timetables and ticketing system as well information services. 
The program was presented today to the municipal council as a given, to be implemented as of July 2010 in 4 stages over a period of two years. Without a budget and a detailed time table that is a little hard to imagine.
For Jaffa the message is clear: bad transport as a low frequency to an irrelevant unlived in area. 
The Ajami minibus is a good idea, however.

Oh and did i mention the new bus stops with their metal chairs that become sort of VERY hot during the summer months. They are very stylish, but i doubt if the designer has been making much use of a bus stop. Three chairs is also not a whole  lot when people will have to wait 20 minutes for their minibus to arrive. And metal chairs in the sun will not be very comfortable.

But then without a budget and a clear implementation table i have my doubts.

Another question s of course the ever rising cost of public transport. Bus tickets in Tel Aviv cost 5.80 NIS as of the beginning of this month. When the minimum hourly wage stands at 20 NIS an hour and many people need to take more than one bus to their place of work, that's very expensive.

1 comment:

e.e. said...

Well, I guess that the planners aren't the ones who are going to use the transportation.
Actually, the intercity busses are still OK. I took one today to the Jezreel valley to visit my folks and it was fine except for one screaming baby (pacified by a young guy who offered to take him from his completely indifferent Mama - it worked in seconds...) and a screaming bus driver (who got annoyed at a fellow driver, but subsided after a few seconds). The traffic jam in Wadi Arara was short, we made good time and the seats were fantastically comfortable. Gee, I never thought I'd be praising Egged, this is a first.