Poll: Despite Costs, Israelis Love Their Cars

Heavy traffic on the highway entering Tel Aviv, July 06 2010. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90. *** Local Caption *** תנועה פקק מכוניות רכבים כלי רכב פקוק כביש מהיר תל אביב
Cars in Tel Aviv. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Gas is expensive in Israel, and so are cars – but Israelis prefer them to buses and trains, a poll by job site AllJobs said. According to the poll, 65 percent of Israelis travel to work in their own vehicles, while only 30 percent use public transportation. Of the drivers, 19 percent said that it takes them an hour and a half to get to work, while 37 percent said it takes them an hour to get to work.

While the Tel Aviv light rail will eventually reduce commuting times in the city – hopefully – it’s doing just the opposite now, said the poll. Forty percent of respondents who work in Tel Aviv said that the construction work on the project had increased commuting times by at least a half hour. For residents of Tel Aviv and other adjacent cities who worked in the city, between 45 percent and 48 percent said that they spent more time on the road because of the project.

The long commutes affect productivity among those polled. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they had to leave work earlier than they wanted to, and 33 percent said that they came to work more tired as a result. When asked if their long travel times pushed them to look for work closer to home, 43 percent said that it did, and 29 percent said they were actively seeking a job with easier commuting times.

According to AllJobs, “The time commuters spend getting to work costs money, pollutes the environment, and is the cause of traffic jams. Now we see that long commuting times affect productivity. Paradoxically, 52 percent said that they would not be willing to give up their vehicles despite the traffic conditions on the road.”

With Israelis determined to drive to work on their own, it is up to the government to either improve the road infrastructure, or make public transportation attractive enough to attract more Israelis to use it.