In Israel commuting to work is the principal manner of travel the economy must deal with in managing transportation. The cost to the Israeli economy for each vehicle, for each kilometer, is 8 NIS; i.e. for each car sitting in the daily morning congestion of the Ayalon Highway losing hours of work. Serious congestion problems also exist in many other cities throughout the world. Solutions are needed, and today it is well understood that paving more and more roads is not an implementable solution. The Israeli economy suffers annually from millions of shekels in damage, due to lost work hours, increased air pollution and the impact on public health.
This project deals with reducing Israel`s customary incentives for private car usage. For this purpose, Transport Today & Tomorrow is acting towards giving a realistic value to the tax credit given for cars by the workplace, and towards changing the wage structure at for civil servants which currently includes car maintenance as a central component. As part of the project the organization supports research, writes opinion pieces, organizes meetings and conferences, and recruits the relevant stakeholders to pass the message on to decision makers.
Israeli employers today are internalizing the fact that companies that truly wishes to be ‘green’ (as part of their social-environmental responsibility) have to encourage employees to commute in a ‘green’ manner. The list of large employers that are in a process of preparing Employer Transport Plans includes: Bank Hapoalim the Israel Electric Corporation, Intel- Israel, Elbit Systems, Applied Materials, and others.
Israel’s Ministry of Transportation and Israel`s Ministry of Environmental Protection, together with other organization, are leading this change. At the practical level there are several applicable means to encourage workers to commute via carpooling, public transportation, cycling etc. Israel Railways is now offering a special program granting businesses a 17% discount for employee travel. In addition a shuttle system will be set from train stations to nearby employment regions.
Transport Today & Tomorrow’s advantage in promoting this issue is the professional reputation earned through extensive research in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and due to our contact with professionals and influential stakeholders. We held a conference for employers, in which more than 40 companies participated The conference was followed by preliminary steps of preparing Employer Transport Plans for 10 companies.
Amongst our activities:
- Conferences aimed at decision makers.
- Seminars for employers.
- Writing and production of an employers’ guidebook.
Initiating research and policy papers.
- Promotion of a law proposal.
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