As part of the national program to reduce air pollution in Israel, the state will invest 6 million shekels for projects encouraging use of public transportation and bicycles instead of private cars.

Also amongst the projects to be supported by the Environmental Protection Ministry are: the creation of a shuttle system to major employment areas, the expansion of the “Tel-Ofan” bike-rental project to all of the Tel-Aviv Metropolitan Area (Gush Dan), upgrading bicycle lanes, and increasing the number of bicycle stands and parking spots.

The decrease in use of private cars to reach work will lead to a reduction of air pollution and use of fuel, as well as a reduction in traffic and in the time it takes to get to work. The amount of support received by each municipality as part of the plan was determined by the population density in cities and the yearly emission rates of nitrogen dioxide, and based upon the submission of a detailed city plan by local authorities. The level of support also depends on the socio-economic ranking of the city, with low-ranked cities receiving wider support. Each municipality will receive up to 750 thousand shekels.

The cities which are included in the project are Givatayim, Holon, Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva, Tel-Aviv, Bat Yam and Jerusalem.

The establishment of bike-rental stations in Givatayim, for example, is expected to save up to 200 thousand private car rides a year. The shuttle project from the train station in Petah Tikva to the “Ramat Siv” employment center in the city is planned to save up to 120,000 rides a year.

In a report published in recent months by the OECD, it was estimated that air pollution in Israel leads to 2,500 cases of early death per year, half of which are as a cause of air pollution from transportation alone.