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Proposal: Bad Traffic? Highway Time is Free

MKs propose linking payment for highway use to highway performance.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/23/2013, 9:03 PM

Traffic jam on Highway 60
Traffic jam on Highway 60
Hillel Meir

Drivers who use the Highway 6 toll road should not have to pay if they get stuck in traffic, MKs argue in a new proposed law.

MKs Uri Maklev, Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher of the Yahadut Hatorah party say that if the speed of traffic on the road dips below a certain point, to be agreed upon in advance, those on the road should be exempt from payment.

“Drivers who choose to cut their travel time by using Highway 6 are prepared to pay to do so, but when there are traffic jams and travel time grows longer, the drivers are not getting the service they wanted in exchange for their payment,” Maklev explained in an introduction to the law.

The MKs also proposed that public buses be allowed to use the faster road for free. “Many public transportation lines currently avoid using Highway 6 because of the cost, even though traveling that route would save them travel time,” Maklev said.

If the cost is not an issue, the public buses could not only cut their time, thus benefiting the public, but could also reduce traffic on other roads by making the switch, he said.

Highway 6 currently serves only well-to-do Israelis, and not those who cannot afford the highway, he added. “The more we encourage public transport to use Highway 6, the more the highway will serve its purpose of connecting the ‘periphery’ to central Israel, and of reducing inequalities in society,” he argued.