More residents of Tel Aviv are taking to the streets to enjoy the fresh air and health benefits associated with bicycling than ever before.  Since 2010, 54% more residents use their bikes to get to work and school  – an estimated 18,000 people, compared to 12,000 just two years ago, according to a survey conducted for the Tel Aviv municipality economic and social research center.

The number of Tel Aviv residents using public transportation has also risen by almost 4 percent.  The use of private cars also dropped by 5 percent, yet is still the most popular method of transportation in the city.

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The Tel Ofan bicycle rental project of Tel Aviv – through which travelers can rent bicycles for short intervals to travel between numerous rental stations throughout the city, will be adding an additional 21 spots in the near future.  Approximately 20,000 Tel Aviv residents subscribe to the service.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.