The city of Haifa’s Metronit system launched on Friday. The system is undergoing a test run, during which passengers can ride the Metronit buses for free.
City officials will weigh the impact of the new system and will consider changes to local bus routes.
The Metronit system uses a special extra-long, fast bus, with several doors to allow for quicker pauses at crowded bus stops. The bus will be given precedence at intersections and will have several streets to itself, allowing it to progress quickly through the city. The system aims to provide some of the advantages of a light rail system like that in Jerusalem without the years of road work involved in creating a train line.
A promotional video extols the virtues of the new system.
Three main Metronit lines will connect Haifa to the Krayot area to the north of the city.
The system was created in a cooperative effort that included the Transportation Ministry, city officials in the Haifa area, representatives of local residents, operators of public transportation in the region, and the Yefe Nof company.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz praised the Metronit system. “This is a real revolution. I hope that the use of the Metronit will change the reality of transportation in the Haifa area, and will set an example for other cities,” he said.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav thanked the Transportation Ministry for its cooperation with the project. “We will keep working to improve service for residents, and public transportation is an important part of that,” he declared.