A Local Neighborhood "Zichronit" in Zichron Yaacov -- When?
Getting out of Zichron Yaacov is very easy! A bus leaves the center of the colony headed to Binyamina bus station, and from there you will be able to find buses headed south - to Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion airport, Be'er Sheva, or north to Haifa, Hakrayot region, Akko (Acre) and Naharia.
From Tel Aviv Central Bus Station you can take an express bus to Jerusalem (And now there's also a train). The train service in Binyamina has been greatly improved in the past few years. For example, There are over 40 daily trains headed to Tel-Aviv, twice an hour during daytime and three during rush hour! The express train ride to Tel Aviv takes no more than 26 minutes. The train service hours have increased to 21 per day, almost "around the clock". You may know that the last train to Tel Aviv leaves at 22:17 from Binyamina, but did you know that the first train from Binyamina to Tel Aviv leaves at 1:55 am? This early train stops in Tel Aviv at 2:27 and takes you to the new terminal 3 at the Ben Gurion airport at 2:40. Did you come from Zichron Yaacov? From Ben-Gurion airport, you can get to any place in the world!
But one might ask, "how do I get to the center of the colony, and from it to other locations?"
There is a bus service in Zichron Yaacov, the bus leaves two to three times a day and there are many bus stops, for example: If you want visit Givat-Dan in the morning and come back later in the afternoon, you will find the bus empty, waiting just for you.
About a year ago, the head of Zichron Yaacov's council declared that he had reached an agreement with "Nativ Express" transportation company, and that in "a few days time" there will be a massive change in Zichron Yaacov's bus services. People are still waiting at the bus stands.
Haifa is has challenging topography, similar to that of Zichron Yaacov, neighborhoods stretching one after the other with streams running between the streets, and one main road in the middle. Last week, "Eged" launched a brand new high-quality bus service in Haifa, called "Shchunatit". Now Haifa's roads are more comfortable for orientation than ever. Just like in the TV commercials, residents use "Shchunatit" in order to get to school, the bank, the supermarket, and also as a connection bus for other outer city destinations. The use of the "Shchunatit" service is provided though single tickets, multiple use tickets or "Chofshi Chodshi"(a monthly bus pass). The card can be used again for additional travel in the city (known as "transfer" in other countries) with no added charge (after purchase the ticket is valid for one hour). Local buses have frequency of up to 4 times per hour, stations were added and walking from the bus stop to your place of residence now only takes 2-3 minutes.
Zichron Yaacov is in dire need of its own neighborhood transportation service - a "shchunatit". The local council must do whatever it can in order to have "Eged" buses at work in Zichron Yaacov. Does anyone think that the service will not be an incredible success?
A version of this article by Yoav Etiel appeared in the "Magazin Hamoshavot" weekly
Yoav Etiel is a Partner at BarEl Properties, Ltd.
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