New train line in Galilee connects Arab residents to Tel Avi...
New train line in Galilee connects Arab residents to Tel Aviv
Arab residents of the Galilee will soon have access to a new fast train line between Karmiel and Tel Aviv. The new Israel Railways line is slated to begin running at the end of September with two new stations in Karmiel (Lower Galilee) and Ahihud (Western Galilee).
In conjunction with the opening of the new line and following pressure from Sikkuy and MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List), who is chariman of the Knesset's sub-committee on public transportation, the Transportation Ministry has announced the addition of new bus lines and route changes for the neighboring Arab villages and localities to the new train stations in Karmiel and Ahihud.
The introduction of these bus lines is set to markedly improve accessibility to public transportation for hundreds of thousands of Arab residents in the area. Further, the ministry has announced that all residents boarding the train in Karmiel or Ahihud, including residents of 15 Arab villages that now have new connecting bus lines, would get free train tickets for three months and a 50 percent discount on tickets for two years.
This expansion is part of the Government of Israel’s efforts to increase Arab access to public transportation in Israel's periphery. Over 70% of Israel’s Arab citizens, 21% of the population, live in Arab towns and villages in Israel’s northern and southern peripheries that have long had limited—if any—access to public transportation. Improved access to public transportation is key for enhancing Arab access to employment and economic opportunities throughout Israel. The addition of bus lines and the new train line is therefore in line with the government's unprecedented economic development plan for Arab society (learn more about Government Resolution 922).
As part of Government Resolution 922, the Ministry of Transportation is spending 40% of its annual development budget, or at least NIS 100 million a year, towards developing services in Arab localities with the goal of complete equality in transportation by 2022.