Erdan asks Steinitz, Katz to reduce Carmel tunnel fees

August 29, 2011 19:05

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Monday asking them to reduce the toll fees for trucks and buses passing through the Carmel tunnel, in order to decrease air pollution in Haifa, his office announced that morning.

Because the current fares are so expensive – NIS 57 for trucks and NIS 34 for buses; five and three times the price for private vehicles, respectively – truck and bus drivers prefer to take alternate routes through the city, which increase air pollution emissions by three or four times, according to the ministry.

"We must also utilize the tunnel toll system to create environmental and heath benefits, especially in an area like the Haifa Bay, which suffers from air pollution as a result of industrial activity," Erdan said in a statement.

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