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Transportation Master Plan
A master plan for mass transit was designed at NTA between the years 2004-2009. The plan served as the basis for the amendment of the National Master Plan for Light Rail – National Master Plan 4/A/23.
The process of preparation of the plan represents a milestone for strategic planning in Israel. We have found only two cases in the world where planning was done for an entire network when no mass transit infrastructure existed, and even in those two cases the networks were partial and limited.
The process with all of its components, from definition of objectives, to preparation of planning tools, building of alternatives, and selection of the preferred plan, all the way through the formulation of an agreed-upon plan, can serve as a model for strategic planning in the transportation industry, but not only that industy.
The process had a number of unique characteristics:
The original planning team included representatives of all disciplines, some of which are not always included in strategic planning teams: transportation planning,urban planning, engineering planning, traffic planning, environmental planning, and economic planning.
- The expanded planning team included the participation of all bodies related to the project: municipalities, Israel Railways, and other relevant companies.
- The project steering committee, which included senior executives of the Transportation Ministry, Interior Ministry, and the municipalities, was run with no hierarchical division among the participants, and with no project chairman.
What made the process unique was both the “hard” side – the planning itself, and the “soft” side, meaning relations and communication during the process. It is recommended to review carefully the methodology chapter that describes this aspect somewhat.
The team’s way of working, which required the creation of agreements with all the parties, throughout the entire process, may have somewhat delayed the pace of planning, but without a doubt greatly shortened the main process, turning the plan into a National Master Plan (NMP). Preparation of the NMP and its approval lasted a year and a half – an unprecedented achievement in the world of planning.
The document allows for a glimpse into the professional world of transportation planning. Thus one can see, for example, the issue of preparation of alternatives for an unlimited range of options. Also, you can find a number of transportation planning tools that are not widely used. These tools help us take off and see the comprehensive picture, which is not common in day-to-day engineering planning.
The work was managed by a steering team, headed by the director of the land transportation planning division in the Transportation Ministry, the planners for the Tel Aviv and Center regions, the NTA CEO, the engineer for the city of Tel Aviv and other cities.
The work was executed by a team headed by Benny Shlita, Architect Yossi Farchi, and Architect Yaffa Ben-Shahar, with the transportation planning directed by Becky Schliselberg, the engineering planning by Engineer Yaffi Harari, economic planning by Dr. Haim Aviram, and the environmental aspect by Prof. Uri Minrav.
At this time, the NTA team is occupied with the planning of all mass transit lines for the NMP. Without a doubt, when these lines are built they will significantly change the world of accessibility in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, and its way of life.