Disinfecting and cleaning the trains a week ago (Photo: Israel Railways)
Public transport has so far been defined as a vital enterprise, and the mother of the government You will indeed make emergency regulations Expected
To be announced soon that the service will be completely shut down, many transport-dependent citizens are likely to find themselves without access to essential centers: stocking up on food, drugs and reaching medical centers.
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Isaiah Reich, the father of three children from Beit Shemesh, does not own private vehicles. “We actually announce a curfew for those who depend on public transport. We live in a new neighborhood in Beit Shemesh and there are many such neighborhoods. We don’t have a pharmacy here, but only half an hour’s walk from the house. “If we have to buy things for the holiday? How do we do this? Today I travel on public transport and don’t worry – the buses are pretty empty, no rush so it’s no worse than anywhere else.”
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D. lives in Tamra with her two parents and works at a medical center in Krayot. “I graduated recently and got the job I wanted, but I’m afraid I won’t have the chance to get here when I have to stand at the forefront of the virus,” she said. “30% of the workers here come by public transport and the guidelines are very unclear.” According to her, access to other essential needs will also be restricted: “I have an oncologically ill mother, she and Dad are not leaving home and I try to protect myself as much as possible to keep them. How do we get shopping now that there will be no public transportation? How do I buy drugs for them? , We have to live. ”
“There are populations that will be severely hurt by being cut off from public transport: There are populations outside their home that have a way of stocking up on food that will not talk about drugs that exist only in other cities and not in the city of residence. What will people do without a driver’s license? Elderly people who still need to self-transport or need to travel – family members , Therapists and the like? ” Asks Prof. Arel Avineri, head of the Masters of Engineering and Infrastructure Systems track at Afeka College, “On the other hand, I have not seen restrictions on driving a car and so if five people can drive a private car to work, or get a full minibus – why is it less dangerous than public transport?”
According to Prof. Avinari, the state jumped too quickly to the conclusion that public transport is the focus of the danger: “The current virus is still being studied, but in previous outbreaks, most of them were at home, close to familiar people and workplaces, and at least on public transport if it remains at a certain level. The decision-maker is greater than the risk itself. Bus traffic can be maintained and spaces can be accommodated by various means between the seats. ”
“Public transport is also a symbol,” says Professor Avineri. “It is important to transmit the signals that we are robust and continue to operate certain things as the Ben Gurion portrays as a place that continues to operate in times of emergency, so both public transport and its stoppage will hurt it and also its ability to continue working after the crisis is over.”
Tamar Keenan of the Today and Tomorrow organization said that “In ordinary life there are also people who travel by choice but now all passengers are prisoners. While they are supposed to stay at home, there are essential things that will now only be reserved for those who can own a private vehicle.”
15-minute CEO of Shimrit Notman said that “disabling public transportation overwhelmingly without creating an alternative system for essential workers is a wrong step whose damage is greater than the benefit it could bring. According to data from the Corona Campaign Information Center, the disease is unknown on public transport. Of course, passengers have a responsibility to minimize as much as possible and stop traveling by public transport during this time, and at the same time, the government and the Ministry of Transport have a duty to establish an alternative emergency system for essential workers. ”
A senior government adviser in the field of public transport told Ynet: “It’s a disaster, nobody thinks about the day after. If you leave public transport operating at 30-40%, you can continue to operate it even after the crisis, but if you shut it down completely – The state almost completely eliminates the possibility of restoring public transportation to the end of the crisis, both drivers are difficult to recruit and there is a shortage of thousands – those with background illnesses, ignorant people, and those who can draw compensation and move on to another profession will not return, To get back NIS 80,000 a month, except for people who earn a minimum wage and stay in this job only They do not have something the other hand. ”
He said, “Even those who have another option, such as a train, taxi or private vehicle, will not board a bus. It is a basic commodity used by people without vehicles, soldiers, ultra-Orthodox and elderly people and is now dropping them under their feet.”
Chairman of the Association of Nursing Services Providers, Doron Raz, said: “A complete halt to public transportation could be fatal for some 220,000 nursing seniors receiving care at their home. The government acted correctly when it rightly decided that long-term caregivers are vital to the economy, but deciding to cancel public transportation, as the Ministry of Health would, would seriously undermine this decision, as some 100,000 caregivers and caregivers will find it difficult to reach and care for the elderly. ”
Yor Steinberg, urban designer and founder of Humankind in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, commented: “I do not know a Western country that has taken a similar step to cancel public transport. In the Netherlands, for example, people are asked not to use if they do not need it for essential needs.”
According to a study by the Bank of Israel in 2019 by Dr. Tanya Suhui and Yotam Sofer, “workers with low income and socioeconomic status are characterized by higher use of buses and coaches organized by employers, and those with high status and use of private vehicles.” SS indicates the significant dependence of disadvantaged populations on public transport: In 2018, among the lower decile 57.2% of families did not own private vehicles, while in the fourth decile 33.2% of families (one third) did not own private vehicles. In contrast, among the top decile only 5.7% did not own it; That is, these populations are completely dependent on public transport, and their reduction will mainly harm them.
In addition, the Ministry of Transport data shows that while the Israel Railways remain 10% -15% of passengers, buses continue to travel 30% -20% of passengers. This figure is a mirror image of travel habits in Israel – the train passengers, who serve passengers belonging to almost all deciles – have a large alternative in the form of a private car, however – most of the bus passengers are “prisoners” who travel through them without any other alternative. Thus, in a survey conducted by the State Comptroller’s Office, it was found that, while rail passengers only 27% often travel on public transport, bus passengers account for a significant 69%. The measures that the government is expected to announce during the day, as mentioned, will leave this population without any transport access at all.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Transport is preparing to operate shuttles to essential workplaces but it has not yet been decided in what format. The Berlin Public Transport Authority announced this morning that it will operate such a service for hospital employees through a via company that simultaneously operates in Israel, together with the Dan company, the “Bubble” service – a smart public transport booked through the app.
A similar service also exists in Haifa through the Moovit and Egged companies. This option is also on the table in Israel, and various alternatives are being explored to expand the service, which will allow different buses to limit the number of passengers – because everyone is booking the trip on the app and after some passengers the line will be blocked. At present, only 100 vehicles are operating in the Tel Aviv area, and operational ways are being explored to expand it.
At the same time, various officials at the Department of Transportation have questioned Babel’s ability to drive crowds. Thus, if on average at least 20% of passengers travel routinely – it is about 600,000 travel and smart transport service will only be effective if a total closure is imposed and not when the economy is still working and such a high number of people are traveling daily. According to those factors, the ability of smart transport to travel is on the order of 100-150 thousand trips across the country and there are many challenges to operating such a system, although it began to operate in Berlin this morning.
Conversely, transport-oriented essential workplaces that are not powered by a smart system have no control over the amount of people who travel. For example, through Ynet’s red email, a hospital nurse found that ten people were getting into the minibus – no distance between them, in stark contrast to the directives and it is unclear if such a situation involves a reduced risk of getting bus-related.
Carmel’s activity, Haifa’s mythical means of transport, and the only subway in the country, will be resident from tomorrow. This is due to its being an underground and well-ventilated vessel.
The decision to close the Carmelite was made by Haifa Mayor Dr. Einat Kalish Rotem and Carmelite Corporation Chairman Tami Barak, following the Ministry of Transport’s instructions. The municipality said that in accordance with the directive on public health orders, the operation of a cable-type transport was prohibited, and the Carmelit meets this definition. “This is a facility that is underground, without full ventilation and this endangers the Carmelite workers and the public,” the municipality said.
The Carmelite is a Funicular, a train driven by a steel cable that pulls it up the mountain. She began operations in Haifa in 1959 and is also currently transporting Haifa between the Government Area in the Lower City, Hadar and the Carmel Center. In February 2017, Carmel was re-established after a fire, and reopened in October 2018. As mentioned, tomorrow it will be resumed again.