Transport Minister Israel Katz (Likud) was in Beersheba last week and promised to act to improve public and private transport in the city, reports www.local.co.il. Katz told city officials that Beersheba was of great importance to the state, and efforts to develop it and turn it into a central metropolis should be accelerated. According to the report, Katz and top ministry officials met with Mayor Rubik Danilovitch and municipal staff in the minister's first official visit to the city since taking office a month ago. He told the mayor that Beersheba was a national role model for having reduced the number of traffic accidents and related injuries by 50 percent in recent years, and that investment in safety measures such as signs and traffic circles should continue to be made to ensure that this downward trend continued. The report said that during his visit, Katz announced his approval for the paving of a new highway that will join the city center to the high-tech park on the city's outskirts, a move expected to aid the development of the high-tech park. Katz also instructed his staff to improve Beersheba's public transport system by changing the old bus fleet, increasing the frequency of buses in various neighborhoods and upgrading bus stations. Ministry and municipal officials also agreed to form joint teams to develop a mass transit system and upgrade the entrances to the city.