On Sunday, the OECD released a new report on ways to reduce the congestion of traffic in Israel. In recent months, the issue of congestion fees has returned to public discourse, and as the new Transport Minister at Bezalel advances steps to reduce road congestion in favor of public transport, the new report provides insights and conclusions about the effectiveness of the block toll systems and their use in various cities around the world, In Milan, Singapore and Stockholm congestion fees have significantly reduced the load, and New York is now also planning a similar program.
Last year, the organization released a report that found that the transportation situation in Israel was severe with respect to the OECD countries and would increase at an accelerated rate, unless significant steps were taken to restrain it. Now, in a new report dedicated to Israel, the organization offers options for designing and implementing a congestion fee system that can adapt to Israel and effectively reduce road congestion.
According to the report, a well-designed congestion fee system can alleviate existing congestion, while improving public transport at the same time can also help reduce long-term congestion. The payment itself should be tailored to the various transportation options they want to encourage like carpooling and other car alternatives like bicycles, while revenue from congestion fees can make additional investments in public transport, and encourage its sustainable development.
According to the report's authors, first presented at a conference initiated by Future Mobility IL, there are two systems that are currently being considered in Israel - billing in three Tel Aviv circuits or one km billing around the city whose prices will vary according to the load. These can lead to considerable reductions in congestion and time savings. , GPS-based technology should be tested to increase efficiency and allow flexibility in designing and implementing congestion fees. The Ministry of Transport pilot's "through value" pilot may be used later to collect fees.
The report concludes that the inclusion of congestion fee measures should be considered - these could include short-term improvements in bus service quality, measures to facilitate co-travel (which are limited today due to regulation of co-travel app profits), and improvements to bicycle infrastructure. Other measures include authorizing local authorities to charge a higher price for parking and removing exemptions and various tax benefits that currently encourage private vehicle use.
According to CBS data for 2018, road congestion continues to increase with annual traffic increasing by 63% and vehicle traffic increasing by 84%. By contrast, road space has increased by only 45% and road length has increased by only 19%. Not only do enormous economic damage, but also health and social damage, and Israel - which is about to become the densest country in the Western world - needs to find solutions to alleviate road congestion in order to avoid significant exacerbation of road congestion, while public transport fails to cope with population growth gaps, And be a public replacement for the private vehicle.
In terms of the Israeli government, the distance to congestion fees is much longer. In a survey conducted last month by the Gutman Center for Public Opinion and Policy at the Israeli Democracy Institute, 53.5% of the Israeli public objected to a congestion charge in the major city centers, compared to 33.5% who supported during. In contrast, 55% of Israelis support the introduction of shared carpools at the entrance to Tel Aviv (routes where at least 2 or 3 passengers can move), compared to 26% who oppose it.
Uri Yogev, chairman of Future Mobility IL and former treasurer himself, says that "to solve the traffic jam and congestion crisis in Israel, the government must introduce a holistic plan combining implementation of congestion fees, improving public transport, opening the market for cooperative transport and investing in bicycle infrastructure. Implementing these moves can reduce congestion by about 50% in two years. "