Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Jerusalemites waiting to board a bus at a bus stop in the center of Jerusalem. (archive)

Research published Monday by the Bank of Israel has examined the issue of public and private transportation in Israel, and its impact upon employment in the state.

The research was authored by Dr. Tanya Suhoy and Yotam Sofer from the Bank of Israel Research Department. The two researchers mapped Israeli localities using a Relative Accessibility Index that estimates the number of potential workplaces that can be reached via public transportation relative to those accessible by private vehicle.

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According to this index, for most employees (around 60 percent), the number of job localities accessible via public transportation is less than half than those accessible via private vehicle.

The findings of the research indicate that the frequency of intercity public transportation services and the accessibility of information regarding them have a marked impact on employees’ decisions of whether to use a private vehicle.

Employees with a low level of income and a relatively weak socioeconomic background are characterized by greater use of buses and employer-organized shuttles. Employees with a high level of income and a relatively strong socioeconomic background are characterized by greater use of private vehicles. However, it was found that convenient access to train service (both in terms of proximity to home locality and proximity to place of work) increases the use of trains among high income and private vehicle owners as well.

Receipt of car maintenance benefits from the employer markedly reduces the use of public transportation as a mode of getting to work.

The research was based primarily on Social Survey data for 2014–16, including the survey for 2015 which includes a special expansion dealing with public transportation services. In addition to the survey data, use was made of the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety’s National Public Transport Authority and data from Google Maps and the Moovit application. To analyze the effects of the employees’ characteristics on their travel mode, a discrete choice model was used.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.