Transportation – Extent of Motorization and Distances Travelled

 Indicators of demands on the environment resulting from transportation and increased use of fuels

The level of motorization in Israel is lower than that of OECD countries. Nonetheless, an increase in distances travelled is expected, which would add to pressures on the environment

The number of motor vehicles in Israel has grown significantly in the past two decades. The number of private motor vehicles increased by 160%, and distance travelled by 186%, compared to an increase of 69% in the size of the population. The percentage of “company cars” – from the total number of private motor vehicles – reached approximately 13% as of the close of 2009. Two-thirds of these belonged to leasing companies. In 2006 the percentage of company cares reached 60% of the new vehicles purchased, compared to 30% in the mid-1990s. This figure decreased by a few percentage points during the past three years. The level of motorization in the highest socio-economic cluster reaches 463 private motor vehicles per 1,000 individuals – five times the figure for the lowest socio-economic cluster, which has only 73 private motor vehicles per 1,000 individuals. Both the level of motorization and the distances travelled in Israel are lower than those of western countries. Similarly, the proportion of distances travelled by private motor vehicles out of the total amount of distances travelled by vehicles in Israel is low in comparison with OECD states. At the same time, the increase in distances travelled in Israel since the 1990s was among the highest of OECD countries – 114% during 1990-2004. The extent of distances travelled and the increase in this figure mean that Israel, a small and crowded country, faces a serious environmental problem. The outlook for 2030, assuming “business as usual,” predicts that the average level of motorization will reach approximately 350 motor vehicles per 1,000 residents, an increase of approximately 35% relative to 2009. The increase in distances travelled and in distances travelled per individual is expected to increase by approximately 60-65%. Under this scenario a significant increase can be expected in transportation-related indicators, which would require expanding existing roads and constructing new ones, resulting in increased fuel consumption  and resulting air pollution.

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