Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Tel Aviv area traffic.

If you drive a car in Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah, Herzliya and/or Rishon Lezion, your days of freedom are ending.

The latest draft of the Economic Arrangements Bill submitted to Israel’s Knesset include a Metro Tel Aviv-area “traffic congestion charge” that is slated to go into effect in March 2024.

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In 2019, the New York State Legislature passed a congestion pricing law, which made New York City the first city in the United States to have congestion pricing. However, governmental red tape has delayed the implementation of the law.

A map of those areas about to get hit was published for the first time this month as part of the bill, according to the Globes business news site.

The most expensive charge will be imposed on those driving in central and south Tel Aviv.

The more moderate charge will be levied on drivers in Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bnei Brak, Holon, Bat Yam and Azur.

The least expensive fee will be charged to drivers in Herzliya, Petach Tikvah, Kiryat Ono, Givat Shmuel, Ganei Tikvah, Yehud Monoson, Or Yehuda, Rishon Lezion and Beit Dagan.

The maximum charge for driving in all three rings during the morning or evening rush hours – for example, if you live in Herzliya and have a doctor’s appointment in central Tel Aviv – will be NIS 25, according to Globes.

A state-run financing company will be established to plan, build, operate, and maintain the equipment needed to charge drivers and collect the fee. The Israel Tax Authority is to be responsible for collecting the congestion charge – but the state-run financing company may do it on behalf of the government.

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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.