Israel Railways had a banner first quarter in 2016. Ridership was up 17 percent to 14.8 million people during the quarter, up from 12.6 million in the first quarter of 2015. Approximately 215,000 people use the railways each day, while on the big commuter days of Sunday and Thursday – as soldiers and students go to their destinations and come home – as many as 250,000 people could be riding the train.
That was up over Q1 2015 as well, when average daily ridership was 188,000 a day.
Besides operating commuter trains, Israel Railways operates freight trains – and the freight business is doing very well. Freight trains carried 2.3 million tons of goods in the first three months of 2016, compared to 1.9 million tons during the same period in 2015.
According to railway officials, the company has for the first time accumulated 1 billion shekels, showing its financial stability.