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NGO: Israel's public transport failing to meet passenger needs
By SHARON UDASIN
06/05/2014
The organization 15 Minutes finds an unacceptable gap in Israel in favor of traveling by private car.
 
Israeli public transportation services fail to abide by scheduled timetables and are rife with poor planning, the organization 15 Minutes claims.

The public transportation optimization NGO collected the 2013 complaints of its members – which the organization described as “heavy users” of public transportation – and concluded that the system is failing passengers on a variety of levels.

About a third of passengers who filed complaints criticized noncompliance with bus schedules, while most slammed the transportation system for bad service.

“The public transportation system is not functioning properly,” Gil Yaakov, the director of 15 Minutes, said on Wednesday.

About 60 percent of the complaints related to service issues – problems stemming from the inadequate operations of public transportation.

Among these were bus safety issues, misinformation, skipped stations, low frequency and delays in departure.

Thirty-three percent of the service complaints related to noncompliance with bus schedules. Such delays have generated a lack of confidence in the public transportation system as well as an inability to plan personal schedules, the organization said.

“This constitutes a lack of discipline on the part of service providers, a disrespect of consumers’ time, poor planning of schedules and most seriously, violations of the law,” 15 Minutes said.

The organization published a comparison chart showing the time difference between car and bus travel from residential neighborhoods to business hubs in the central region.

From the Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station to Airport City, a car ride takes about 20 minutes while a bus ride – with changes in buses and walks – takes approximately 50. From the same starting point to the Ramat Hahayal neighborhood in Tel Aviv, a car ride takes about nine minutes while a bus ride takes 40 minutes. Meanwhile, a car ride from that same origin to the Ra’anana industrial area takes up to 27 minutes, and a bus ride requires a journey of at least an hour, the organization said.

From Petah Tikva to all of the previous destinations, car rides average 17, 22 and 26 minutes, respectively.

Bus rides on the other hand, take roughly 50, 60 and 90 minutes, the organization’s data showed.

“These figures point to an unacceptable gap in favor of traveling by private car,” the NGO said. “In fact, passengers on public transportation burn a major part of their time on the bus, and this is due to poor planning.”

The Transportation Ministry called the report “unprofessional,” as it was based solely on the complaints of the organization’s members, and did not consult other passengers using public transportation.

“The strange report contains a collection of data that has no connection to the quality of service of public transportation and the needs of the public for public transportation services,” the ministry said.

“In addition, the report contains statements and determinations that indicate a lack of understanding of the public transportation system in Israel.”
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