For Israel Railways, Election Day a Red Letter Day

The Israel Railways electronic timetable at the Tel Aviv Savidor Station. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

On Election Day, over 300,000 Israelis chose to ride Israel Railways. Rail officials said that the day off for most workers, coupled with largely free trips throughout most of the country, prompted a near-record turnout of rail passengers.

The most passengers ever recorded in a single day was during Chanukah of 2018, but Election Day came “quite close,” officials said. Unlike during most holidays or days off, there was a full schedule of trains that day, as officials expected large crowds. Officials estimated a ridership of about 250,000 that day. The most crowded station was Tel Aviv Hashalom, located right next to the Azrieli shopping center. Over 29,000 people were recorded as passing through the station.

On an average weekday, about 255,000 people ride the rails, with the number rising to over 270,000 on Sundays and Thursdays, the opening and closing of the work week.