Just how do Israelis get around? A new study by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) suggests that the bus is the preferred transportation mode for most people. According to the study, about a million people take the bus to work or school every day. In the course of a month in 2015, 2.65 million individuals took a bus ride, and annually that figure jumps to 3.42 million people who have taken at least one bus ride in the previous 12 months, a figure close to half the total population of the country.
Lagging far behind is the train: 2.1 million Israelis took a train ride at least once in 2015, and only 630,000 traveled by train at least once a month. The poll did not disclose how many people traveled on Israel Railways daily.
With that, customer satisfaction was much higher for train passengers than for bus riders. Eighty-three percent of Israelis believe that Israel Railways performs well overall, while 91 percent were pleased with the upkeep of stations and the cleanliness of the system overall. In addition, 94 percent said that it was easy to get information about schedules, changes, and any other concern.
Bus riders were far less satisfied. Seventy-two percent said they were satisfied with the service, while 22 percent said they were dissatisfied. Seventy-five percent were satisfied with the level of cleanliness and comfort of the system. Seventy percent were satisfied with the level of cleanliness of bus stops. Among Arab riders, the level of satisfaction was only 51 percent. Among riders of intercity buses, fewer than half – 45 percent – were satisfied with the level of service and the bus timetable.
Most bus riders are young; 80 percent of 20 to 24-year-olds rode the bus at least once in 2015, compared to 47 percent of those age 35 to 65. Bus ridership curves upwards again for the elderly, as 60 percent of Israelis 65 and older rode the bus at least once last year. Overall, 80 percent of bus riders said that bus stops were located at a relatively convenient place; only 44 percent of Arab riders were satisfied with the location of stops.
Overall, just over half (57 percent) of Israelis surveyed agreed with the statement “I can usually get to where I have to go via public transportation in a reasonable amount of time,” the study said.