On Monday the new Haifa public cable car was officially launched. Commuters and tourists alike will now be able to travel within minutes between Haifa’s main transportation hub (its bus and train stations) and the central area by the bay and the top of the mountain to the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood, the Technion and the University of Haifa.
The cable car is part of Israel’s national plan to reduce carbon emissions in the country and to do its part in the global fight against climate change. The building of new train lines and urban light rails are part of this. At the same time, Israel has been working to improve public transportation around the country in order to reduce the congestion on its highways as seen in its almost daily traffic jams.
The 4.4-kilometer (2.75 miles) long cable car will offer 150 trolleys that will leave the stations every 15 seconds. The cars will carry up to 8 passengers each. The ride from the Gulf Central Station to the Technion will take about 10 minutes and only another 9 minutes from there to the University of Haifa.
As seen in the photo above, the cars all operate simultaneously in a loop, in contrast to those systems with just one car that goes back and forth, or two – one for each direction.
Passengers will be able to use all means of payment applicable to public transport, including multi-line tickets, periodic appointments and will enjoy the usual discounts and exemptions on other means of public transport.
Later on, the cable car will be included in Israel’s new “Equal Way” public transportation initiative that offers greatly reduced fares for the public at large.
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Merav Michaeli said that she was “proud and happy” that with “great determination” Israel was finally able to bring the long-planned Haifa cable car into fruition.
“We managed to rescue the Haifa cable car project from a long delay, thus enabling activities of a good and efficient transportation alternative for the public in the north of the country,” she said. “Our mission in the Ministry of Transportation is to create as many options as possible to move from place to place to reduce the use of the private car.”
“Every new mass transit vehicle we add will lower the congested traffic jams on the roads” added Michaeli, “and I am glad that Haifa will enjoy the new transportation service that the cable car will offer.”