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Monday, November 1, 2010

... because of the metro

A "Dan" bus on Ibn-Gabirol street, on quiet Friday afternoon
Tel Avivians have many dreams about the future of their city and the ways they want it to become. Tel Aviv underground transportation system (AKA "Tel Aviv Light Rail") is, without a doubt, one of the most common, the most persistent  and the least realistic of those dreams.

Actually the public transportation in the city center of Tel Aviv is quite efficient. You can pretty much get anywhere you want using the bus system, operated by four bus companies, major of which are national "Egged" that runs from North to South of Israel, from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat; and local "Dan", serving all of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area ("Gush Dan" in Hebrew; here, according to the Bible, was the land of the tribe of Dan). In addition to the "traditional" buses (like the one on the picture above, driving along Ibn-Gabirol street on a quiet Friday afternoon), we have a "share taxi" system (called here "service taxi"), with minibuses that follow the major bus routes - and operate also on Saturdays and holidays (when other public transportation is closed).
A "service taxi" on Ha-yarkon street
However while inside the city center it's really easy to manage with the buses and the "service taxi", the situation is quite different in the suburbs. The bus routes are not sufficient to make an easy "door to door" trip; the railway system isn't developed enough... and so many Tel Avivians have to keep private cars in the city and to drive to work every day - very not green, very not urban; if only we had an underground system that would easily take us to the most popular places of the metropolitan, we keep saying.
Planned "Tel Aviv Light Rail" map - if everything else fails,
this would make a great T-shirt design!
This picture from the Wikipedia article on Tel Aviv Light Rail shows us how cool the life would be if only this long planned project would have been realized: underground and above-ground train system, connecting the major parts of the metropolitan, with connection points at major transport hubs... In the meanwhile, however, the light rail project keeps postponing again and again. The optimistic Tel Avivians keep their hopes high for the metro - even though, given the example of Jerusalem tram system (a disaster project that is under work for around a decade, and still hadn't been finished - Dina is writing about it from time to time in her Jerusalem blog) - we might be better off without it... My personal dream is to have a job with the office within the city center - how cool would it be to ride a bike to work!

Public transportation is the November's theme of City Daily Photo. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

4 comments:

ρομπερτ said...

Always a safe road ahead and a good new month, week as well.


daily athens

J Bar said...

Great shots.
http://sydney-city.blogspot.com/2010/11/sydney-opera-house-sydney-ferries-theme.html

Leif Hagen said...

A subway in Tel-Aviv > well, never say never!
I never say, "I'll never be able to visit Tel-Aviv!"
Kind regards from EAGAN daily photo

www.touristisrael.com said...

Its great.. if it ever happens. But with the bikes, Tel Aviv is modernising its transport infrastructure fast.