All six groups that entered the preliminary selection process in the new Tel Aviv fast lanes project are being allowed to take part in the tender, the inter-ministerial tenders committee for the project announced today. The tenders committee consists of representatives of the Ministries of Finance and Transport and government companies Ayalon Highways and Inbal. The full tender is slated for publication in the fourth quarter of the year, and the first stage of the project is scheduled to open in 2022.
The tender was announced last August. The six groups applying include 13 companies from the public transportation, construction, and operations sectors. The groups are Housing and Construction Holding Co.(Shikun u'Binui) (TASE: HUCN) and Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd.; Minrav Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MNRV) and Metropoline; Menolead Herut Systems and Shasha; Ashtrom Properties Ltd. (TASE:ASPR) and Oron Investment and Holdings; Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd. (TASE:SPEN) and Yamit; Danya Cebus Ltd. (TASE: DNYA) and Nahor Transportation; and Electra Ltd. (TASE: ELTR) and Afikim Public Transportation.
Plans for the new fast lanes were made following the success of the fast traffic lane from Shafririm, east of the city, to Tel Aviv, which includes a parking lot with 2,000 parking places. The lane's success is based mostly on free shuttles leaving every 15 minutes to business centers in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, for which demand is lively.
In the first stage, the new project will provide parking for 10,000 vehicles in two parking lots: one in Shefayim north of Tel Aviv and the other in Rishon Lezion south of Tel Aviv. It will also include a system of 10 free travel services from the parking lots to important business centers in Greater Tel Aviv. Because of this element, the groups competing in the tender will have to prove that they have experience in running public transportation.
The project also includes a set of high-speed lanes with an aggregate length of 80 kilometers stretching from the Poleg Interchange on Highway 2 via the Ayalon Highway to Rabin Street in southwestern Rishon Lezion. The project also includes the construction of a three-kilometer road, Highway 541, between Ra'anana and Shefayim Interchange. The fast lanes will be in addition to the existing lanes, not instead of them.
Ministry of Finance Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu said that the public-private partnership (PPP) model used for the project was an important tool for national infrastructure projects and increasing investment in physical assets, as part of the government's policy of bolstering economic growth.
Inter-ministerial tender committee chairman and Deputy Accountant General Yariv Nehama said that the fast lanes model had made public transportation and shared transportation more attractive, and was providing travelers with an incentive to switch from private vehicles to public transportation, thereby saving thousands of transportation hours a day.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on May 16, 2017
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