As Israel grows in population, infrastructure, and economy, authorities are seeking to streamline transportation.
Israel Railways has announced it will reduce travel time and increase the frequency of trains. On June 14, Israel Railways will launch a completely new timetable, which will include 49 extra trains and 500 new stops each day.
This is an increase of 12.2% in the number of trains in operation, and brings the total to 451 trains. According to newly released Israel Railways data Israelis are increasingly relying on trains to travel the country.
Use of the country’s railways was up 12% in 2013 compared to the previous year, thanks to the introduction of new cars and lines with increased passenger capacity. About 45 million passengers rode the lines in 2013, as opposed to 40 million in 2012 and 36 million in 2011.
The main changes in the new timetable: Improving service in the Haifa metro area - train frequency will be increased in the northern metro area, and on routes between Haifa and Nahariya, via Akko and the Krayot. Increasing the frequency has become possible since the completion of the double-track project in 2013.
The new trains will provide all-day service between Nahariya and Haifa Hof Hacarmel stations. Increasing frequency from the Ashdod and Ashkelon stations - on the new timetable, fours trains will operate each hour, between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, including a once-an-hour express train that will run from Ashkelon to Tel Aviv in just 43 minutes. Operating a new train during peak morning hours - a number of stations around Israel will operate addition trains during the peak morning hours, in order to meet demand.
There will be an extra train from the following stations: Beersheva Merkaz, Beersheva North, Lehavim, Kiryat Gat, Ramla, and Beit Shemesh. Beersheva-Tel Aviv: train frequency will be increased and Friday service will be improved - on Fridays, two trains will run every hour, during all hours of operation.