New app to allow Tel Aviv carpoolers to expedite fast lane travel

Smartphone application to expedite entrance of carpoolers onto Road 1 fast lane to Tel Aviv, eliminating need to pass through burdensome checkpoints.

Tel Aviv traffic. (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Tel Aviv traffic.
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A smartphone application will soon be expediting the entrance of carpoolers onto the Route 1 fast lane to Tel Aviv, eliminating the need to pass through burdensome checkpoints.
The Transportation Ministry and the Netivei Ayalon company are issuing a tender on Thursday for the development of this application, which aims to save time for vehicles carrying four or more passengers that make use of the fast lane.
Today, public vehicles are exempt from paying the toll for the Route 1 fast lane – the section between Ben-Gurion Interchange and the Kibbutz Galuyot exit. As far as private vehicles are concerned, sometimes cars carrying three or more people and other times cars carrying four or more people receive exemptions, depending on traffic volume. Nonetheless, these cars must first stop at a designated inspection point before entering at the “park and ride” parking lot, the ministry explained.
The ministry and Netivei Ayalon are requesting ideas and suggestions on types of applications that will accomplish the time-saving goal.
For example, one idea could be an application based on identifying the presence of mobile phones in the car, where a “master” phone would register to the application the number of phones present in the car, the ministry said.
The fast lane currently attracts thousands of citizens daily and presents an efficient solution to those who want to get quickly to the center of Tel Aviv, according to Transportation Minister Israel Katz.
“The success of the fast lane and the shuttle services brought an increase in the number of vehicles parked in the parking lot of the lane, and today it almost reaches maximum capacity,” Katz said.
Katz said that in addition to issuing the tender, his ministry is working to double the number of parking spaces to 4,000 at the “park and ride” lot near the entrance to Tel Aviv.
Once a second floor of spaces is established there, this will become the largest parking lot in Israel, he added.