Hybrid Bus 311.
(photo credit: gali amoyal)
The Green Movement has launched a campaign to bring greater enforcement to
public transportation lanes in order to give the public more of an incentive to
use buses rather than their private vehicles, the group announced at the end of
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The campaign aims “to fight the police’s refusal to enforce”
the rules in these lanes so that taking public buses becomes less of a burden to
the public and ultimately helps improve the environment, according to Green
Movement co-chairman Prof. Alon Tal of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s
Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research.
In a letter dated June 7,
the party sent a joint letter to Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino and
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, calling for the two men to take
the initiatives necessary to bring about this change.
“The percentage of
Israelis who take buses continues to drop, and the reason is clear,” Tal told
The Jerusalem Post
. “Bus passengers end up paying twice – first, they wait for
very unreliable buses to come – and then, they get stuck in traffic like
everyone else because the police refuses to enforce the public transport bus
With a sub-committee of transportation experts, the Green
Movement is attempting to change this oversight, Tal said. The letter to the
officials – signed jointly by Tal and co-chairwoman Racheli Tedhar – stresses
that delays experienced on the buses effectively “negate all the benefits
provided by public transportation during a journey, benefits that stood as a
priority for the legislature when they created these lanes and determined their
The movement has yet to receive a response from the
officials, but expects to receive one soon, as a response is required by law,
Tedhar told the Post
on Sunday evening.
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“In the planning and shaping of
our land, one of the basic issues is transportation,” Tedhar said. “If I have to
choose going by bus or private car from Rehovot to Jerusalem, I’d say that
because there’s a public transportation lane going through the middle of the
road, it’ll take me a half hour less because the bus has its own
“The lanes are there, but the police won’t enforce them,” she
continued. “I see a lot of people going with cars and using the public
transportation lanes. [The government doesn’t] give priority to the public
By forcibly restricting these lanes to bus traffic only,
Tedhar predicted that there would not only be much less air pollution as people
reduce their car usage, but there would also be fewer traffic jams and accidents
along the way.
Tal said “the air pollution from cars is really the
responsibility of the transportation minister and the police, but these concerns
do not seem to be on their radar screens.”
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