Israel Water bus

Preamble

Amazing fact: despite the appropriate geographic and demographic conditions, the State of Israel still does not have any maritime public transportation.

Look at the map:

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Most major cities are located along the coast that stretches out in almost a straight line from north to south.

In this strip of 20 km width live over 60% of residents of the State, and the majority of enterprises and business centers are located here.

On the coastal highways that connect the cities passes a very large flow of vehicles, which is constantly increasing. A density index of cars on the roads of Israel is already 4-6 times higher than in European countries.

Because of this, the Government of Israel for many years has been to encourage people to use public transport instead of private cars as much as possible that can allow to free roads, but, in practice, the effectiveness of these actions is very low.

In these circumstances, it would be natural and logical to add to the existing bus and railway transportations one another alternative – a line of high-speed maritime traffic, which would link all the major cities on the Mediterranean coast.

Project

The proposed maritime traffic may include a commuter route (red), and intercity express route, stopping only at the points of the highest passenger flow (yellow).

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Commuter line will connect the main cities of the coast.

12 stations: Ashqelon – Ashdod –  Bat Yam – Yafo –  North Tel Aviv –  Herzliya – Netanya – Hadera – Haifa –  Kiryat Bialik –  Acre –  Nahariyya

An inter-city line will connect the largest cities.

6 stations: Ashqelon – Ashdod – North Tel Aviv – Netanya – Haifa – Nahariyya

To reduce the arrival time, I suggest using a high-speed passenger ships, such as the hydrofoil – JetFoil of the Boeing / Kawasaki Heavy Industries company or the TriCat catamaran of the FBM Marine Company.

JetFoil

Photo SoHome JacarandaPhoto: SoHome Jacaranda

TriCat

Photo SdeePhoto: Sdee

These beautiful and comfortable passenger ships are perfect for regular service.

Because of design features such vessels develop high speed: 40-45 knots (80 km/h)

They have a large seating capacity – 240 passengers JetFoil and 330 –  TriCat.

Below is a chart of time calculated based on an average speed of 35 knot (65 km / h) for the commuter lines and 38 knots (70 km / h) for the intercity lines.

The calculation took into account the time of parking at the stations.

Commuter

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Inter-city

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Sailing time on the longest route Nahariya – Ashkelon: 3:13 for the commuter lines and 2:38 for inter-city distance.

By comparison, today, a trip on the train, from Nahariya – Ashkelon, takes 3:03 for suburban trains and 2:41 for intercity trains.

As we can see, the time of arrival is not more than for railway transport and water transportation could compete with it.

For passenger ships to arrive to the station at least once in one hour and to serve all lines eight vessels are necessary, in case of 1 time in 40 minutes – 11 vessels, and for 1 time in half an hour – 14 vessels.

For the maritime transport passenger services it is necessary to construct the Naval Stations at the each location. Naval Station should include all the necessary infrastructure and functions such as parking, ticket offices, waiting room, catering and retail trade, etc.

It is also necessary to upgrade and proceed with major changes of nearby roads and transport infrastructure.

A possible example of a Naval Station:

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This project is in the public interest. Since maritime public transport will improve and modernize infrastructure throughout the coastline, increase an efficiency of transportation and standard of living in the surrounding areas as well as attract tourists and create new jobs. In the case of emergency, vessels could be used for quick evacuation of population to a safe place.

The implementation of this major infrastructure project will require large investments and long process of concord with the local departments. Therefore, the project has a unique chance in case of enhanced, multi-level support from the State.

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Alex   14 October 2015

 

Update – 20 October 2016

The cruise line was inaugurated between Haifa and Acre

The ship, with capacity for 200 people, will run seven days a week, twice a day (at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Acre, and at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Haifa)

The ferry, which will cater mostly to tourists, costs NIS 30 (7.9$) for a one-way ticket and NIS 55 (14.1$) for a round trip; the trip takes around 45 minutes.

It’s a first of its kind in Israel, initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, which worked with the municipalities of Haifa and Acre and the Old Acre Development Company to develop the cruise line.

The ministry invested around NIS 11 million (around $2.8 million) in upgrading the two ports, with the aim of attracting tourists who want to travel between the two destinations, taking in the sites and activities in both places.

The ship, with capacity for 200 people.

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The distance between the two ports of about 12.7 km.

 

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Links:

Acre, Haifa new ports of call for local cruise liner

נחנך קו השייט בין חיפה לעכו (Hebrew)

After over a decade of dreaming, tourist ferry connects Haifa, Acre

 

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