Waze: More Cars on the Road Than Before Covid

A traffic jam at the entrance to Yerushalayim, September 21. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Cars have returned to Israel’s roadways at pre-pandemic levels and more, according to Globes, citing data from satellite navigation company Waze on Wednesday.

The number of journeys on Israel’s roads in October so far was 23% higher than before the Covid pandemic began. Waze compared the data from last week with figures from February 11-25, 2020. It found that the number of journeys by Waze users in the parallel periods in Tel Aviv rose by 7%, by 17% in Yerushalayim and by 19% in Haifa.

The data is surprising, as many people are still working from home, either full time or part time.

Meanwhile, cars are entering the country in unprecedented volume.

What accounts for the unexpectedly sharp rise in private vehicular traffic?

Google estimates that public transport use has fallen 11% since the start of the Covid crisis as people sought to avoid social contact.

Another reason for the shift to private transportation has been the proliferation of road works contributing to congestion – light railways, fast lanes and new roads and frequent disruption of rail services to allow electrification of lines.

Also, in the first nine months of 2021, 248,900 new cars came on Israel’s roads, up 38% from last year and breaking all previous records.