Israeli Problem: Too Many Cars, Not Enough Roads

YERUSHALAYIM -
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
Heavy traffic on the highway entering Tel Aviv. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

More Israelis than ever are driving and fewer are using public transportation, which means the roads in Israel are more crowded than ever, a new study by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows. Despite a spate of highway building and expansion of public transportation options in recent years, something was clearly not working in Israel’s transportation policies, the report said.

It’s a simple matter of math, the report contends. Since 2000, the number of vehicles to hit the road in Israel has grown by 69 percent, while the available amount of road for those vehicles to drive on has grown only 40 percent during that period. The length of the roads that do exist were extended by only 17 percent during that period. Kilometrage – the number of kilometers driven – rose by 50 percent.

On a per year basis, the rate at which the roads are getting more crowded is higher now than ever. In 2015, the average amount driven by each vehicle was 16,300 km, 0.9 percent more than the 16,200 km driven in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of kilometers driven by buses fell 0.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, while taxi kilometrage was down 1.3 percent, the report added.