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Old December 10th, 2019, 07:36 AM   #41
avivster
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there is another small thing TLV LPC forgot.
If they will make too much problems for developers they will move to other cities.
Ramat Gan, Holon or Bnei Brak will let them build almost anything they want.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 02:33 PM   #42
Ynhockey
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Maybe it's for the best. I know Matrix is going to disagree, but I think the metropolitan's office space is over-concentrated in Tel Aviv. I don't support significant government intervention to solve this, but if the problem solves itself, it's great.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 03:08 PM   #43
matrix2020
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Putting politics aside, what are the alternatives in your opinion?
BBC?
Elef compound?
Perhaps Rehovot and Petach Tikva?
Unless you think, the towers will relocate to nearby places such as Bursa, in which case you didn't gain anything because it is practically Tel Aviv (distance from Tel Aviv to Bursa is less then between this future tower's location and Begin road for instance).
The immediate result, will be even worse traffic jams, which will be spread out further away from the central areas.
This means, the dream of a functional mass transit system will be even further away then it is now.
Its construction will be more expensive, take more time and the system when it gets built, will be less attractive, because workers will have to ride for longer distances.
Its a simple matter of geometry.
Having your office towers in the center, means shorter distances in average for most residents, while having them on the edges, means that for at least half, getting to work will become much harder.
Not to mention that areas such as BBC, have very poor accessibility by car (how far is Ayalon?), by train (a single train station which is at a distance making it unreachable on foot during ~8 months out of 12 and there will be only one Red Line station to serve that area.
It is same or worse for future Elef compound, for Kiryat Arye, for Rehovot, or any other business park in Gush Dan.
Rehovot which is probably the most reachable is already having significant issues with its train station having hard time to cope with the number of passengers.
Try to leave the station during a rush hour.
And dont even get me started on bus routes from Tel Aviv to Rehovot.
They are pure garbage all of them.

In contrast, you have 3 train stations sitting on the biggest railway backbone in Israel, you have Ayalon, you have several other major transport arteries, you have a place with established infrastructure to serve the employees (various shops, restaraunts, good pedestrian experience in many locations and you even have a half decent bus network.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 06:29 PM   #44
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The amount of office space in Tel Aviv compared to other cities is crazy. I think in 2008–2018 just the added space was greater than the second place (I think Jerusalem or Herzliya? It was posted in the forum) more than 3-fold. In other words, any places that is 1/3 as accessible is good enough.

If you think Rehovot Railway Station is struggling with crowds, it's nothing compared to HaShalom Station (based on statistics, the physical size of the station, and my own recent experience). I predict that even after the new entrance and 4th track, it will still be significantly more crowded than Rehovot. Maybe tracks 5, 6 will save it?
If you think the roads everywhere else are crowded, it's nothing compared to Tel Aviv's.

We can also assume that the Red Line exists, because any project started from scratch now will still be ongoing by the time the line opens. Here are some ideas:

* Western Kiryat Aryeh, near Em HaMoshavot Red Line station. Has good access from Highway 4, Jabotinsky, and two Red Line stations. In the future HaYetzira Street will be pretty close to both the Red Line and the M3 line.
* Glilot: Accessible through Highway 20, Highway 5, a future IR station on the main line, and the Green Line
* Ra'anana South: Tricky because most of the space is occupied, but it is accessible through Highway 531, Highway 4, an IR station and a future M3 station.
* A new area next to Rosh HaAyin North: maybe there's a good reason it's empty, but that place is close to Highway 5, Highway 6, Road 444 (being upgraded), and an IR station. Rosh HaAyin South as well, which will have an M2 station. A bonus here is that the roads aren't insanely crowded, compared to more central areas (still not great though).
* Holon IZ: Close to major highways, the Green Line and M3 in the future. Bus transportation there currently sucks, but that's easy to fix.

Just to clarify: I'm not saying there shouldn't build anything else in Tel Aviv, in fact I hope they do. Just saying that there is no benefit in building more in this city than the rest of Gush Dan combined.
Having a single very dense center, without any smaller ones, is very, very, inefficient. I don't know why you think it's efficient—the mathematics just don't work out. I can demonstrate it easily on a graph if you are interested, although it will be a gross approximation.

What's more: It's possible to look at the most congested highways to see where people are heading from. If, for example, the worst "contributor" to congestion is people going from Netanya to Tel Aviv during peak morning, it would make sense to build more in Netanya and especially to the north of it.

Also: If you take 10 skyscrapers built in Tel Aviv (for the sake of example), and want to build only 3 there and 7 elsewhere, it doesn't mean the other 7 have to be in the same place. Pick any 7 areas in the metropolitan, and you've already got 1/3 of the people going to each; and there are a lot more than 7 areas with extra transportation capacity.

Last edited by Ynhockey; December 11th, 2019 at 11:07 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 06:55 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix2020 View Post
Its a simple matter of geometry.
Having your office towers in the center, means shorter distances in average for most residents, while having them on the edges, means that for at least half, getting to work will become much harder.
This assumes residents' location is fixed. But a proportion of residents will relocate to be on the appropriate side of the centre, to access their office, especially over the long term (when the new offices will result in new residential buildings).

For example, 30 years ago, Canary Wharf was built 5 kilometers East of the centre of London. Over time, people who work there, started to immigrate to the Eastern side of London, which contributed to gentrification of those areas as well (so now a lot of the people who work in Canary Wharf live in the Eastern side of the city).

Last edited by chali1; December 10th, 2019 at 07:08 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #46
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@chali1, in theory, you are right.
In practice, Israelis are not as mobile as Americans or even British.
People can't easily upgrade their apartments, unless they already have a pretty big amount of money.
In Israel, it is usually the elderly, who upgrade their apartments by moving to a more upscale neighborhood.
Also, by preventing access to those less mobile (due to their lower level of income), you are limiting social lifts and reduce opportunities to those, less fortunate.
This is never a good thing.

@Ynhockey, your alternatives are interesting, I could probably write a several dozen worth of posts discussing pro's and con's of each one.
Mostly public transportation wise (because private cars are just not sustainable in the long run and without mass transit it is just bound to fail.
Just to name a few:
All the places you listed, are pretty much inaccessible for residents of Rehovot, Rishon (let alone Ashdod or smaller towns south of Tel Aviv).
Again, I am talking public transportation wise, even though private car isn't such a great option either.
With all due respect, metro is a very distant future (I have heavy doubts, most of it will get built and if it does, how it will look like).
For now I can tell for certain that Red Line will open in a few years.
Ayalon will have the fourth track (there is prep work already and there is budget), the electric trains, added terminals and new signalling system will add some capacity to the backbone).
Green and Purple line opening dates, are less certain after the today's blow, but hopefully will get built ( will be ready in the second half of 2020s).
Like it or not, this is ~decade of time, and during this time, those new office towers will need to get built somewhere and for the time, Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan are the preferred location).


On your point on single center which is too dense, I disagree.
Tel Aviv is far from being too dense.
There is still plenty of space for development.
There are still areas in Tel Aviv that look like Kabul or favelas in Brazil.
Even in Tel Aviv's center there is potential for adding millions of square meters of offices.
A major part of Masger street is still garages (show me a place in Manhattan that looks like that), Shalom interchange has a military base which still has dozens of "huts" (for the lack of better word).
Southern Tel Aviv is in desperate need for development to lift it up from the current sorry state of things.
Certainly Tel Aviv needs those offices more then Rehovot, or Raanana does.
Most successful cities in the world, NYC and London have possibly orders of magnitude more offices, and yet, it works out pretty well and they keep adding offices just fine.

On your remark on watching for patterns, unfortunately thats not how it works.
Businesses come to the center, because it offers more amenities, is more developed and because, they have wider choice of workforce to choose from there.
I now spend some time in office sitting next to an HR girl doing interviews (office in science park in Rehovot).
Pretty much every conversation for anyone north of Tel Aviv ends with "I am sorry, this is just not going to work out for us or you, you should find a workplace closer to where you live".
Why would the businesses want to limit themselves to areas north of Tel Aviv, which would make those from Rehovot, Ashdod and Rishon, less accessible for them?
There is also a matter of prestige, especially for smaller firms (lawyers, accountants and so on).
They want to be in Tel Aviv, because it presents a success story to their clients.
With all due respect to Rehovot and Petach Tikva, or even Raanana, they just don't have the same "vibe".

And lastly, we already had that experiment with Gush Dan in Olmert's era, when he decided to limit approvals for new residential projects in country center.
As you well know, this was a miserable failure, which had a far reaching consequences on real estate market (hiking prices even higher).
I just don't see how a similar experiment in office real estate market, could end any better.
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Old December 10th, 2019, 09:52 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix2020 View Post
@chali1, in theory, you are right.
In practice, Israelis are not as mobile as Americans or even British.
People can't easily upgrade their apartments, unless they already have a pretty big amount of money.
In Israel, it is usually the elderly, who upgrade their apartments by moving to a more upscale neighborhood.
Also, by preventing access to those less mobile (due to their lower level of income), you are limiting social lifts and reduce opportunities to those, less fortunate.
This is never a good thing.
It doesn't have to be that all the workers relocate, but that a significant proportion of workers relocate. And then geometry no longer would show that a point in the middle would be the closest position for offices for the relevant workers (as relevant workers will not be randomly distributed over the space).

If you assume a significant proportion of workers relocate to be nearer to their office, then distributing offices more widely over space would be a solution to transport overloading.
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix2020 View Post
There is still plenty of space for development.
There are still areas in Tel Aviv that look like Kabul or favelas in Brazil.
A lot of areas.
But isn't the issue is about transport and overcrowding at the transport bottlenecks to the city, rather than lack of space for office towers? (I think everyone agrees that the construction of modern office buildings improves the city from a visual perspective).

Last edited by chali1; December 10th, 2019 at 09:59 PM.
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Old December 11th, 2019, 09:09 AM   #48
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I don't think a significant portion of workers will relocate.
This never happened in Israel and hasn't even happened elsewhere on a major scale.
Everyone knows, that residences in downtown are expensive and only a few can afford to live close to their work.
For most people, it is the mass transit system that brings work "closer".
Red Line was specifically built to make inner parts of Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan accessible for workers coming from outside (Bat Yam, Petach Tikva) and the same applies to Green and Purple lines.

Not just visual.
Office buildings in a less desirable area, lead to a process of gentrificaiton of their own.
Take a look on BBC compound as a good example.
Its not just the new towers getting built, its also the street level environment getting a facelift.
Commercial lowrise buildings being built instead of those garages, older crumbling residential buildings getting either replaced in E/B process, or renovated.
And I didn't mention the main benefit, arnona flowing into city's budget.
Putting aside aesthetics, it is a beneficial process for the area.
And like I said, south of Tel Aviv is in a desperate need for that.
My point is, Tel Aviv needs those office towers more then Rehovot and Raanana do.
For residents of Rehovot, or Raanana its a matter of convenience (spending less time on a way to work or going home), for residents of many areas in Tel Aviv, its a matter of getting a chance for better life.
Rehovot and Raanana are already middle class to upper middle class population centers, there is no need to "help" them.
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Old December 11th, 2019, 12:41 PM   #49
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@Matrix:
To be clear, I am not advocating significant government intervention, like in Olmert's case. I might not be a complete libertarian, but my views are generally non-interventionist. However, some government incentives can help, including immediate ones, such as opening new bus lines to less accessible areas, providing tax benefits (mainly on the city level, like in PTK), starting major infrastructure works, etc. This is already done, but maybe not enough (not sure). My comment was just that if it's happening on its own, without any incentives, it's a good thing.

Quote:
Like it or not, this is ~decade of time, and during this time, those new office towers will need to get built somewhere and for the time, Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan are the preferred location).
It looks like today traffic congestion that actually affects the anti-PT elites is actually the #1 impetus for major infrastructure projects like the metro—don't forget it was proposed by FinMin in the first place, not the MoT. If there is more congestion in other places, better PT will follow. In any case, while individual buildings take 2–4 years to build, building a neighborhood takes a decade or two, not counting the preparatory statutory stuff. BBC was started in 2009-ish, and it's still less than 50% completed, not even counting the eastern part (next stage).

Quote:
On your point on single center which is too dense, I disagree.
Tel Aviv is far from being too dense.
There is still plenty of space for development.
Actually I completely agree that Tel Aviv is far from too dense, I didn't say it was. What I'm saying is that it is not efficient concentrating all business in a single area, relative to having a few smaller centers as well. Currently Tel Aviv may or may not be too dense for the infrastructure it has, but that's an engineering problem. On the other hand, the efficient use of resources is also a mathematical problem, and it's solved by some level of dispersion. Having all business in NYC in two main areas (Midtown and Lower Manhattan) is actually a huge issue (definitely not "working fine") that the city is trying to solve by building up the West Side, as well as some stuff in Queens. And that's *two* areas, imagine if they just had one.

Quote:
All the places you listed, are pretty much inaccessible for residents of Rehovot, Rishon (let alone Ashdod or smaller towns south of Tel Aviv).
I just thought that on the south side they were already going in the direction I pointed to. But if you asked, there is potential for quite a bit more development in the existing Rehovot/Ness Ziona IZ (going to be a new road there, new train station to the west, and it's easy to expand the current train station); then there's indeed 1000 Compound, which is close to a main-line train station, Highway 20 and a future Red Line extension; the aforementioned Holon IZ should be accessible from Rishon at least; Ashdod is building a modest high-tech zone, easy to reach because of lower congestion there (and the potential is at least as good as Netanya's); Lod North has a lot of potential too, but it will have to wait for progress on the Eastern Line.

Quote:
Certainly Tel Aviv needs those offices more then Rehovot, or Raanana does.
Depends on how you look at it. Tel Aviv might need a lot of redevelopment, but every other city needs the arnona money, as you said yourself. IIRC Tel Aviv has more that twice the arnona money *per resident* than any other city (something like 14k vs. 7k? Can't remember).

Quote:
Again, I am talking public transportation wise, even though private car isn't such a great option either.
An important thing to remember is that a smaller business areas can be served by buses, unlike Tel Aviv where the bus system has reached maximum capacity many years ago. For example, the North Ra'anana IZ has some of the worst PT in Israel, despite having a lot of high-tech, a functioning bus terminal (Dafna), and no train station. As a result everyone comes by car, but introducing 4–5 new bus lines to that area will make it as accessible as Tel Aviv for people living anywhere between PTK and Netanya. One problem is that high-tech companies don't care about PT and the government is therefore fine with not providing it. However, if they improve PT, many high-tech workers will use it.
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Old December 11th, 2019, 01:40 PM   #50
matrix2020
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Quote:
My comment was just that if it's happening on its own, without any incentives, it's a good thing.
Well if it happens naturally (as far as anything can be "natural" in this heavily regulated area, I won't object.
I just dont think it will.

Quote:
If there is more congestion in other places, better PT will follow
I sure hope you are right, but better PT in Israel so far has been an elusive dream.
I know that MoF proposed the Metro project, but I am afraid it still is mostly a lip service and not a real intention.
You can call me a cynic

Quote:
Having all business in NYC in two main areas (Midtown and Lower Manhattan) is actually a huge issue
Obviously traffic problems are an issue, but whose fault is it, that NYC subway has been stagnating for so long now?
If they maintained and developed the subway, there wouldn't be a problem there.
And still despite all those issues, Manhattan is the biggest urban sucess story in a history of mankind.
Manhattan is pretty much a synonym for a "big city".
And most businesses of the world agree with that point of view and make sure to have an office there.

Quote:
I just thought that on the south side they were already going in the direction I pointed to.
They are and they will.
But that pesky problem of reaching a wider audience of workforce is a limiting factor along with the problem of accesibility.
No matter how much you upgrade Rehovot and Moshe Dayan stations, they are no match for Tel Aviv's train infrastructure.
And don't even get me started on the western Rehovot's office development.
It is easily the biggest mistake in planning as far as I am concerned.
The place looks like a middle of nowhere with a bunch of office midrises around with not even a remote hint of thinking about pedestrians for the foreseeable future.
No restaraunts, no public transporation, a bleak industrial scenery.
Rehovot would be much better of, if it pushed instead towards developing Hertzl street, which could benefit alot from renovation and E/B projects.
And let me tell you, offices are not in a hurry to move there.
Some do, because its cheap, but their employees are not happy.
I can tell you that I pretty much abandoned one of my clients, after I got fed up having to ride the bus for a better part of an hour to reach them (don't forget having to wait for the remaining part of the hour for it to arrive on a bus stop with no roof and having to walk on a street with no pavements (this is simply a field with road and you have to either walk on the grass, or risk walking on the street).
They say, there isn't enough land in Israel and then they waste land resources like that?
I am sorry, I fail to see how this is a good thing.


Quote:
Tel Aviv might need a lot of redevelopment, but every other city needs the arnona money, as you said yourself. IIRC Tel Aviv has more that twice the arnona money *per resident* than any other city (something like 14k vs. 7k? Can't remember)
To be fair, Tel Aviv also has much more spending, because some parts of it look like 3d world hellholes.
Rehovot (let alone Raanana) are just fine as it is.
Its always nice to have more, but there is no burning need for that.
I can agree that Petach Tikva needs offices as well and its a good thing to see it flourishing, especially now with Red Line works nearing completion.


Quote:
An important thing to remember is that a smaller business areas can be served by buses
Thats where you lost me.
I am sorry, but buses are not fit for intercity rides (as a means for daily commuters) period.
The reliance on buses is possibly the most important reason, why PT in Israel is such a failure.
Its not a matter of volume, it is a matter of convenience, reliability and public image.
Buses are not convenient, they are not reliable (you can never tell how long your ride will take, putting aside malfunctions) and their public image in Israel is awful.
Buses are forever doomed to be a means for the poor to move around.
They are the means for those who can't afford anything better.
You won't succeed convincing Israelis to start using buses, even if you cover every seat in gold as far as I am concerned.
The obvious success of trains in Israel shows, that its not the public transportation that Israelis dislike, its specifically using the bus.
Its not even just in Israel, its everywhere.
Ccyclist on Tapuz mentioned several times how buses are considered the means of transportation "for lower classes" in UK.
Same applies to US as well.
Buses serve their purpose as an alternative means for those who have more free time then money and serving as the means to feed mass transit system with passengers and extending its reach.

I am all for smaller business parks, but please, don't even think about relying on buses as the means for daily commuters to reach them.
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Old December 11th, 2019, 02:38 PM   #51
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Quote:
Obviously traffic problems are an issue, but whose fault is it, that NYC subway has been stagnating for so long now?
If they maintained and developed the subway, there wouldn't be a problem there.
And still despite all those issues, Manhattan is the biggest urban sucess story in a history of mankind.
Manhattan is pretty much a synonym for a "big city".
And most businesses of the world agree with that point of view and make sure to have an office there.
I don't think the main issue is the crumbling subway. Yes, it is crumbling, but in terms of geographic spread and convenience of stations, the New York Subway is about as close to perfect as it gets, and by far the best in the world. The distance between any two stations in Manhattan south of Central Park is <700 m, and the coverage is almost complete (will be complete with the 2nd Avenue line). There is also an East–West line in Midtown, and a convergence of many lines in Lower Manhattan. Each North–South line also has fast lines that complement the main train. And yet, despite reaching a kind of limit on subway line/station density, and even at the best of times, there was heavy congestion.

It's true that Manhattan is a very successful city, but its extreme concentration of businesses is not contributing to its success. Hong Kong is denser than NYC overall, but it is more well-spread-out and has more mixed-use zones, so the subway system there can function.

Quote:
Thats where you lost me.
I am sorry, but buses are not fit for intercity rides (as a means for daily commuters) period.
In order to eliminate congestion, you don't need to eliminate all vehicles. In most places, removing just 10% from the road solves the problem. If buses are clean enough and reliable enough for those 10% car owners who want to sell their car but don't have a choice, there is no congestion.

Bus rides can be reasonably reliable and reasonably pleasant, given good maintenance and more routes, like what you said about the New York Subway. They don't have to be an alternative to the car for everyone, just for enough people. Most of Israel's small high-tech areas are criminally under-served by buses; it's unreasonable to ask even a poor person to ride 2 hours in each direction, but in almost every case this can be solved, without significant subsidies (most bus lines in the center are profitable).

Finally: I think one of the most important plans for Israel Railways in recent memory has been the Highway 4 railway. However, no one is in a hurry to build it, and even here many forums believe it's unnecessary. I think it could be the single biggest congestion reliever in the metropolitan in the near future, even more than the LRT. Even according to my most conservative estimate, there is justification to build 10 (!) stations between Ra'anana and Rishon on such a line (12+ in total), some of which would almost certainly be in the top 10 most crowded.
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Old December 11th, 2019, 04:44 PM   #52
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It's true that Manhattan is a very successful city, but its extreme concentration of businesses is not contributing to its success. Hong Kong is denser than NYC overall, but it is more well-spread-out and has more mixed-use zones, so the subway system there can function.
I must admit my ignorance on the HK point.
From my research prior to visit and from my stay there, I got an impression, that most business development is concentrated just as much as it is in Manhattan.
Then again, I haven't followed HK's development lately, so can't comment on its current state and I visited in 2008, so things could be different now.
I certainly agree on the mixed use point.
Mixed use makes cities nicer to walk around and safer, but thats besides the point.
Back to NYC, there is plenty of office towers around Manhattan and its not a new thing.
There is Jersey City just across the water.
Also there are lots of office towers going up in Brooklin.
The main drivers for that, are land prices and to some extent traffic situation as you pointed out.
But traffic jams, are not a sign of failure.
There is traffic congestion in any world class city, I am not even sure New York is that bad in comparison to other cities of its size.
London (despite Canary Wharf which was supposed to do exactly what you suggest), is awful.
And don't even get me started on Shanghai or Moscow.

Quote:
In order to eliminate congestion, you don't need to eliminate all vehicles. In most places, removing just 10% from the road solves the problem. If buses are clean enough and reliable enough for those 10% car owners who want to sell their car but don't have a choice, there is no congestion.
I am not sure what you mean by clean buses (I assume, general maintenance of the bus interior?).
Thats not the main issue with the buses.
First there is no such thing as reliable bus.
Mass transit systems (trains, subway and hopefully future LRT in Tel Aviv) are inherently more reliable.
Bus shares the road with other vehicles, it stops at traffic light like everyone else and more importantly it has to cope with bus stops and bus routes design in Israel is more often then not, an attempt to please everyone with the obvious end result, nobody being pleased.
Second, there is a problem with both bus drivers and general public driving culture.
Sorry to be blunt, but bus drivers more often then not, behave like pigs, both towards other drivers and towards their passengers.
They don't bother to park properly at the station and block traffic.
They accelerate and brake like if they are driving a Formula 1 car.
They are often rude and unhelpful.
Public is also a problem, because most passengers pay to the driver (despite Rav Kav) and bus stops can take anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes (especially during rush hour).
Buses are noisy and poorly maintained (and its almost impossible to keep buses in proper shape, because they are just used much more heavily then pretty much any other car on the road.
There aren't that many seats in the buses, and during the rush hour, you will have to stand the whole way.
Now combined with unpredictability of the travel time, this makes a bus, an inferior option to pretty much any mode of transportation.
Why would anybody who can afford a car (high tech workers, remember?) choose a bus over their car?
Granted, he may spend a bit more time in a traffic jam, but at least he will be comfortable.
He won't have to stand, to sit next to someone unpleasant, or worse stand the whole way, while being thrown around like some sort of a toy.
Train or subway is a whole different story.
There are the same issues of having to share your space with complete strangers (much worse in Israel, then in most western countries because of local culture), but at least you usually know exactly, how long its gonna last and you pretty much always will save time compared to your private car.
In train, you often can even work, if the train is not too crowded, or if you are lucky enough to get a seat early in the route.

Quote:
Finally: I think one of the most important plans for Israel Railways in recent memory has been the Highway 4 railway. However, no one is in a hurry to build it, and even here many forums believe it's unnecessary. I think it could be the single biggest congestion reliever in the metropolitan in the near future, even more than the LRT. Even according to my most conservative estimate, there is justification to build 10 (!) stations between Ra'anana and Rishon on such a line (12+ in total), some of which would almost certainly be in the top 10 most crowded.
I wholeheartedly agree, but my guess is such a line is too expensive for MoF, or maybe too challenging from engineering perspective (not sure what this would require, maybe highway closures?).
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Old December 12th, 2019, 01:56 AM   #53
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I guess I'm one of the very few who has no problem affording a car, but doesn't normally drive one. Maybe I'm biased that way. You are also correct that most people (myself included) would prefer LRT/train/metro over buses. However, those solutions are mostly far away, and require years of construction. A new bus line can be inaugurated almost on the day it's decided, so it's very flexible.

In any case, I normally use Line 1, which is one of the worst bus lines in Israel, and has all the problems you listed and more: it is one of the most crowded, has loud poorly-maintained vehicles, the drivers are the least friendly (they often "forget" to open some doors, or close them on passengers), the vehicles are large and have a very low floor so the ride is about as bumpy as it gets, its seats and doors are inefficiently-designed, and many more problems.

However, despite all that I would never enter Tel Aviv by car if I didn't absolutely have to. For many people I know, standing for 20 minutes at a traffic light, moving a few inches at a time, is one of the most stressful and annoying things in life. Driving in jams also makes one lose hours without any ability to do anything productive. On the other hand, even on an amazingly horrible bus like Line 1, it's possible to read the news, social media, sometimes sleep (kind of, and if you can find a seat, but it's better than nothing), etc. Since the travel time is quite similar on this route, the car also loses it's main advantage.

Again, this is one of the consistently worst possible bus experiences in the country. Today there are some lines with buses that are very quiet (electric), have comfortable seats, absorb shock, have a lot of seats, and are just much better than anything most Israelis associate with the word "bus". I've never had trouble sleeping even on medium-quality buses, like Dan's most common models on lines like 51, 238, etc.—and it's rare that there is no free seat for more than ~10–15 minutes on these lines. Granted, cars still have some inherent advantages, but we don't need to move every driver to a bus, just ~10% of them.

I don't think it's correct to look at high-tech workers as a population who will always choose cars over buses either; there are many cases where they won't. Factors like the number of traffic jams, available parking (huge issue actually), how many cars the family needs, etc. all play a significant role. At my workplace, out of 100+ tech workers, fewer than 10 regularly come by car AFAIK, and many come by bus, though they can all afford even two cars. In our company's North Ra'anana workplace, almost everybody comes by car. They can't come by bus because there isn't any. If there were a couple of regular lines, I have full confidence that at least 10% would migrate—and this is all that's necessary.

A note about bus reliability: the scheme from a few years ago adopted in Tel Aviv, where there were 2–3 frequent lines going on the same trunk route but separating at the edges, is actually a very good idea and increases reliability for 90+% of the riders. In the past I had to take a bus to north Tel Aviv quite often, and the destination was just after the place where 71, 171 and 271 split. One of them (171) was the most convenient for me, but I could use any of them if necessary—and one of the three always came within 10 minutes, usually below 5. True, in theory jams+bunching can create a situation where one could wait for 30 minutes or more, but in practice this is extremely rare. Based on my experience of 100+ rush hour rides on these lines, it never happened. Reliability doesn't mean 100% on time. For IR (and DB and most other railways in the world for that matter), 92% is considered quite good. Why not for buses?
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Old December 12th, 2019, 08:06 PM   #54
matrix2020
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Quote:
In any case, I normally use Line 1, which is one of the worst bus lines in Israel, and has all the problems you listed and more
I only rode that route a couple of times and only for short distance so I can't comment on it.
I can comment on what I know and experienced first hand (most buses going from Rehovot to Tel Aviv and elsewhere in Gush Dan).
The main issue (besides all the unpleasant experiences we both mentioned), is significantly longer ride times compared to pretty much any mode of transportation (except walking or maybe cycling).
With a bus, you get all the traffic jams and you also get dozens of bus stops along an extremely long route.
You get unpredictability, because of all those stops and because the route is so long.
This is the main issue with the boneheaded idea to build a cheap replica of mass transit system using buses.
A bus route that takes more then 40-50 minutes to complete its route is a bus route doomed to fail.
A bus route that has a "spaghetti" route like so many bus routes still do is a bus route doomed to fail.
A bus route that tries to replace a train line or a metro (this is what 164/201/274/301/318/319 and many others) is doomed to fail.
By failure I don't mean that it won't be used, on the contrary it will, but only by those can't afford anything better.
When I tell some of my clients that I use the bus, they look at me as if I am some kind of a pariah (thinly disguised pity and contempt).
You can't even move 10% of those using private cars with that kind of experience being the most common and with that kind of public image.
Simply because they have a choice and they are nowhere near to be miserable enough to start using the bus and even if they were, using the bus wouldn't make them less miserable, but only more so.
I think the thinking "lets just add a bit more and they will come" is just wrong.
The change required to "make them come" is much bigger then you think.
I believe without a proper mass transit it just won't happen.

I believe, that right now there is only one viable option:
Drive to your nearest train station, take the train and (hopefully) your workplace is either a walking distance or worst case a short bus ride away.
Relying on intercity buses means you add at least 30-40% more time to be spent going to work and back (and thats if you are "lucky" and happen to live a minute away from a bus stop and your workplace just happens to be on the route of the same bus number.
That if you take into account the traffic jams.
If the way happens to be less jammed (if you drive before or after the rush hour) then you might as well choose walking to your destination as the comparison between using a private car and a bus get just as ridiculous.
Something like (~40 minutes to drive from Rehovot to Tel Aviv, vs spending ~2 hours if you use the bus).
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