New Buses Sitting Idle in Tel Aviv Parking Lot

YERUSHALAYIM -

Over 100 million shekels worth of buses are sitting idle in a parking lot in Tel Aviv due to a government procurement problem, Haaretz reported.

Ninety buses, purchased for a combined price of 115 million shekels for the route of the Tel Aviv region’s light rail system until the trains start running, are waiting for ticketing machines to be installed at bus stops.

Ticket machines cannot be installed in buses themselves, which are similar to the ones being introduced in Haifa’s new Metronit project, and installation of the machines at bus stops requires coordination with municipal authorities and a significant expenditure before the vehicles will be operable.

The Transportation Ministry said the buses will be running by the first quarter of 2014.

The Ministry downplayed the delay, saying such setbacks are par for the course for a project as large and complicated as the new light rail system.