Government Unveils “One Million” Plan to Reduce Traffic Congestion

By Hamodia Staff

A traffic jam at the entrance to a gas station in Yerushalayim. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – The government set a goal to reduce private transportation by a million trips per day to reduce congestion on the roads and air pollution.

The Cabinet on Sunday approved Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Transport Minister Merav Michael’s “One Million” plan to reduce private car use by 5%, within a year.

The plan, which was formulated together with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, government ministries and other public bodies, includes dozens of measures to correct the distortions that incentivize the use of private vehicles, along with strengthening the various modes of public transport and accelerating projects to reduce journeys by private vehicle, according to a statement. 

The main points of the program include:  

– Establishing 74.6 miles of public transport routes throughout the country, enforced for the first time by an enforcement unit on designated interurban routes. 

– Improving the conditions of public transport drivers, including better personal security and establishing another 100 restrooms for drivers. 

– To incentivize using public transit, for the first time, public sector employees will be entitled to ‘transport’ payments identical to ‘car maintenance’ payments, without having to own a private vehicle, as well as giving priority to using public transportation.

– Promoting a program to encourage shared travel by tens of millions of passengers.

– “No journey, no charge”: Working with the Capital Market Authority to create benefits for those who do not use their cars on a daily basis. 

– Expanding the possibilities for working remotely in the public sector. 

– Increased provision of public transport to places of work.

 – Extension of working hours for public transport projects. 

– In cooperation with the Israel Police, rapid removal of road hazards such as accidents and other obstacles to improve traffic flows. 

– Working with Israeli innovation: accelerating trials of transportation technologies such as smart traffic lights, traffic management centers, vehicle counting and drone projects.

– Accelerating implementation of digital services by all government ministries, reducing the need to travel to receive service.

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