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Central Bank economists’ plea: Get out of your cars, Israel!

May 12, 2010

Israelis drive too much. The large amount of cars on our roads has been a cause for concern for environmentalists in recent years. While there all only about 302 privately owned cars for every 1,000 Israelis, the roads are still packed. Carbon dioxide emissions are on high in Israel, ranking us 29th out of 210 countries for emissions of this harmful gas.

In order to urge Israelis to get out of their cars and utilize either public transportation or their own feet more often, increased fuel taxes or new car purchase taxes has been in the talks. Many feel that the better option is to go for just a 1% increase on fuel tax, making it easier for Israelis to continue to be able to afford newer and more fuel efficient vehicles, but still giving them a reason to stay off the roads when they don’t need to be. In order for this program to work and to get Israelis off the roads and onto buses, we must improve the public transportation system in this country. The buses are often overcrowded and their are not enough lines to entice people to leave their cars in park and take advantage of the public transportation.

Here at Zalul, we are cognizant of our entire environment, however, we are always looking toward the sea. This summer season many of you will most likely spend a great deal of time on the many beaches of Israel, and will certainly need a way to get there. So this is our way of urging you, faithful readers, to walk (if you’re close enough), take a bus, or at the very least, carpool to the shores. The high volume of cars on the roads doesn’t only affect the air, but also our precious waters. Runoff from oil on the roads during the rainy winter months always find their way to the water. For each car we remove from the roads, we also remove a bit of that runoff, ensuring that these beaches we are flocking to from all over will be beautiful and pristine. So hop out of your cars, Israel, and enjoy the water!

Read more about this push to get Israelis off the road in this article from the Jerusalem Post.

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