Tel Aviv Tired of Waiting For Train, Takes Bus

YERUSHALAYIM -

The city of Tel Aviv, tired of waiting for the long-delayed light rail project to be completed, has opted in the meantime for a better bus system, Globes reports.

With Tel Aviv’s light rail and subway still off in the future —something like 2035 — the Ministry of Transport decided on an alternative plan: upgraded buses, which will operate above ground along the light rail’s route, including its underground sections.

Planned to start next year, the bus rapid transit (BRT) will feature high-capacity, bi-articulated buses, similar to the Metronit buses which were seen for the first time in  Haifa last week. The buses are earmarked for congested areas in metropolitan Tel Aviv, the Sharon and Be’er Sheva.

BRT travel time from Rishon LeTzion to Tel Aviv, which currently takes 45 minutes, will be only 19 minutes; and travel time from Netanya to Tel Aviv will take just 20 minutes, officials promise. The Ministry of Transport foresees that at least 30% of commuters will switch to public transport.

The BRT buses carry up to 152 passengers and will run along the Tel Aviv light rail’s Red Line, which will open 10 years hence, from Bat Yam in the south through Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, and Bnei Brak, to Petach Tikva in the east.