A private car is a central means of getting to the train stations in the periphery.
Will the Ministry of Transportation approve charging a parking fee for him? (Photo: Yaniv Khalif, Yaniv Khalif)
A paragraph in the annual report published by the railway yesterday is causing a stir: "During 2020, the consulting work of a consultant hired by the railway was formulated to realize the potential of income from the parking spaces of the railway stations. There are approximately 14 thousand parking spaces in the railway stations, and in the vast majority of them parking is free. The consultant's work She recommended leveraging these areas in order to generate significant additional income from trade for the train and accordingly a decision was made in the company to hold a pilot for collecting payment in the parking lots of Lod, Yavne West and Netanya, the Mizrahi parking lot. The pilot is planned to start during 2023, in the first phase at Lod station."
Translation: Although the public transportation services to most train stations suffer from problems of frequency and lack of synchronization with the train times, now the train is coming and it is more expensive to get to the stations by private car.
This despite the fact that the potential income is relatively negligible for the railway, which receives a subsidy of more than NIS 3 billion per year from the state.
The intention is that a driver who used the station to travel by train will pay only a symbolic amount, it is not clear how much (Photo: Reuven Castro)
In practice: the move should accompany the increase of commercial areas in the stations, to which more and more people will come even not to travel by train.
Significant construction of commercial areas has already begun at the Lod station, in a project that will also include office buildings, and the railway has built a multi-story parking lot there, which it requests that the revenue from the parking fees finance its maintenance.
Although the report to the stock exchange, published by the railway because it issued bonds, states that the pilot should start this year, there is still no practical date.
The reason: the move needs to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation, as responsible for the railway, and the railway has not yet requested its approval, and it is not certain that it will be accepted in light of the public outrage.
And even if permission is received for collecting parking fees at stations located in commercial areas, it is doubtful whether permission will be received for collecting payment at stations located in the periphery, and a private vehicle is a central means of access to them, from Sderot and Mezkamer Batia, to Hadera, Benimina and more.
The benefit: the intention is that those who actually arrived at the station and traveled from there by train, will pay a low amount.
It is possible to verify that he really traveled by checking the Rav Ko card, as is done in a number of parking lots set up near the light rail stations in Jerusalem.
There, those who really made a mistake on the train that day get a full exemption from paying for the transfer of the ticket.
In Israel, they will also have to provide a technological solution for those who use apps to pay for the trip.
The Israel Railways responded: "The Israel Railways operates and maintains dozens of parking lots, intended primarily for train passengers, and parking in them is free. As part of the development plan of the Israel Railways and in agreement with the Public Transportation Authority of the Ministry of Transportation, advanced commercial and employment complexes are planned to be established near the stations, within which large capacity parking lots will be built On the floors, in the underground and at a height combined with public transportation terminals on the ground level, we will achieve optimal connectivity with other means of transportation. Such a center has already been inaugurated in Lod, and is occupied these days, and others will be established at stations throughout the country. Accordingly, the train is expected to charge a fee for these parking lots in the future, when The payment to train passengers will be highly symbolic and will be an incentive to travel by train at the expense of the private car."