15 Minutes - Public Transport Consumers Union

15 Minutes – Public Transport Consumers Union leverages and echos positive public opinion in order to improve public transport as an alternative to private vehicles and as a mean for social mobilty.

Location: Tel Aviv
Year founded: 2013

Description

15 Minutes – Public Transport Consumers Union aims to leverage and echo positive public opinion nation-wide, in order to improve public transport as an alternative to private vehicles.

15 Minutes includes a network of 20 communities across Israel, which constitute existing and potential consumers of public transportation. 15 Minutes assists in organizing action as a community, acquiring knowledge and skills for public action on issues of public transport, assistance in formulating requirements from the authorities and from transport operators, and leading nation-wide efforts to improve dramatically the approach of decision makers led by the Ministry of Transportation and local municipalities.

In addition, 15 Minutes operates a Hot-Line assisting thousands of consumers per month to improve PT services. We aim to change existing patterns – from captive audience to a community of influencing consumers that improve public transport in Israel.

Our vision is to improve public transport to become a fast, rapid, available and comfortable mean of travel that will compete with the private vehicle.

Our main objectives include primarily giving way to public transport- public transport lanes; boarding from all doors on urban bus services; create direct bus-services to designated work places; promote public transport oriented planning.
Connecting Jerusalem - Joining efforts to improve access to amployment in Jerusalem by public transport

About

Connecting Jerusalem aims to improve the access to work opportunities in Jerusalem by public transport. Connecting Jerusalem involves the public in shaping the needs and solutions for making work places accessible by PT, influencing and involving diverse communities, decision makers and employers.

The program includes:

(1) Training and guidance to at least 10 local communities and workers groups, on improving public transportation services by public involvement and action.

(2) Mobilizing public opinion to influence decision makers to increase access to work places by public transport.

(3) Mapping needs for improved accessibility to at least 3 work areas in Jerusalem based on feedback from the ground and surveys in at least 5 neighborhoods or communities in Jerusalem, and forming suggested solutions to promote with the ministry of Transportation and Jerusalem Municipality.

(4) Creating collaboration of joint efforts between diverse communities' representatives, workers and employers promoting improvements in PT to work places.

(5) Increasing access by public transport to at least 2 main work areas in Jerusalem

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The Mission of Connecting Jerusalem is to create equal opportunities to access employment in Jerusalem, by improving public transport services. Today PT to central work areas in Jerusalem (such as Har Hotzvim and Givat Shaul) is generally inefficient, causing increased usage in cars, social injustice in accessibility to work, traffic jams and air pollution.

In 2017 we've conducted successful pilots in 3 work areas across Israel, organizing workers and employers, mapping gaps in service, campaigning for additional efficient and direct bus service and negotiating with MOT. Following successful pilots resulting in the opening of 8 directs bus lines to work areas; we intend to focus our activities on improving PT services to work areas in Jerusalem.

Connecting Jerusalem includes mapping needs, surveys, guiding and mobilizing residents from diverse backgrounds, join efforts with workers and employers, engaging public and media activities, aiming to promote a plan and budgets for improved PT coverage and direct bus lines to work areas in Jerusalem, and promote specific improvements in selected work areas.

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Program Description

Connecting Jerusalem involves the public in shaping the needs and solutions for making work places accessible by PT, influencing and involving diverse communities, decision makers and employers.

The program includes:

(1) Training and guidance to at least 10 local communities and workers groups, on improving public transportation services by public involvement and action. The training includes acquiring knowledge and skills for public action on issues of public transport, tools for organizing an effective and influential community project, assistance in formulating requirements from the MOT and from transport operators, and joining efforts cross-Jerusalem to promote PT to work places.

(2) Mobilizing public opinion to influence decision makers to increase access to work places by public transport. Activities include: identifying key actors to influence, creating knowledge regarding solutions and defining clear goals, accessing knowledge and data in order to influence relevant decision making, creating public demand for dramatically improving PT services to work places, supporting on-going efforts and activities, creating effective work with local and national decision makers for achieving results.

(3) Mapping needs for improved accessibility to at least 3 work areas in Jerusalem based on feedback from the ground and surveys in at least 5 neighborhoods or communities in Jerusalem, and forming suggested solutions to promote with the ministry of Transportation and Jerusalem Municipality. The activities include: surveys on the ground with the joint efforts of local groups, workers and employers; gathering complaints and requests from the public by diverse means of communication including a designated app, a web form and a voice mail; combining data to create joint conclusions and agreed solutions in a summarizing report; holding work meetings with MOT and JM Municipality officials promoting data-based decision making for creating the right solutions for improving PT services to work places in Jerusalem.

(4) Collaborating efforts of diverse communities' representatives, workers and employers promoting improvements in PT to work places. The activities include collaboration of efforts to improve PT to workplaces and coordinating work on influencing decision makers to take action, workers and employers engagement and public and media activities

Our measurable goal for 2018-2019 is to increase access by public transport to at least 2 main work areas in Jerusalem.

The beneficiaries from the program include mostly low income and middle class from Jerusalem that will benefit from improved opportunities to work places and employers that will benefit from improved accessibility of workers and in some cases saving on travel expenses.

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Demonstrated Need

The middle class has massively abandoned the buses in favor of private vehicles; many families nowadays buy two cars and transport costs are becoming a heavy burden on household expenses. Many surveys show that given a better alternative more than 50% of car owners would travel by public transport to work.

Bus services remain relevant to a captive audience- lower-income, youth and elderly. Passengers pay a heavy price of lesser opportunities to access work and education, and waste their most precious resource: time. Delays, congestions and long travel times cause passengers to lose their faith in the public transport system and they do not believe they can change it.

In Jerusalem, despite the new light rail in the city center, travel times to major work areas has increased in the last years due to traffic jams and lack of designated PT bus services. In addition, the bus services in 2017 have deteriorated in Jerusalem reaching up to 18% travels not made by the local bus operator in several months of the year, causing mass public dissatisfaction from the bus system in the city. As a result, travel times to work areas in Jerusalem from many neighborhoods in 4-6 times longer than in private vehicles, increasing the gaps in the city .

The key to restoring the trust of the public in the public transport system in Jerusalem and to improving public transport services to workplaces is in the public's involvement in shaping public transport planning and operations. Effective public participation takes place on the local and community level, and includes surveys, direct contact with the public, establishing joint transportation committees of consumers, planners, decision makers and operators. Such methods were proved to be effective around the world and in Israel. In order to achieve public influence and participation, an effective organizing for action is required which brings together and represents various communities and populations of existing and potential consumers of public transport.

Connecting Jerusalem answers the need to provide residents and workers from Jerusalem, and especially from the geographical and social periphery, tools to organize to action as a community in order to improve public transport: to unite as a community, work effectively and express demands in a professional manner and with the backing of public support vis-à-vis decision makers and public transport operators. Efforts are directed to influence decision makers in the Ministry of Transportation to improve public transportation in Jerusalem with the emphasis of improving service to work areas.

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Program Accomplishments

Extensive activities in last 2 years led to several new bus lines in Jerusalem and to establishing an active civilian infrastructure of hundreds of residents. Some of the main achievements include:

(1) Following public pressure, media coverage and frequent meetings with the local bus operator (Egged) and MOT additional frequency of 4 bus lines to working areas were approved

(2) Boarding from all doors was launched on main bus lines following a coordinated campaign.

(3) Bus Watch group that serve as Public Transport Trustees launched in and Jerusalem. Bus Watch activists reported in a special form on specific daily issues regarding level of service, following a designated seminar mapping the various issues concerning level of service and tools for reporting. The Bus Watch activities led to increased enforcement on Egged and revealing data regarding travels not made by the bus operator.

(4) A designated bus line to Talpiot work area was launched, bus line number 15 named after 15 Minutes as a tribute to the civil actions that led to the opening of the new bus line, improving travel time by 50% to Talpiot work.

(5) 15 Minutes influenced the government and the municipality to change to contract with the light rail operator, in order to cancel the monopoly given to the light rail, and allow more bus services in the city.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Evaluation and Measurement

  • Achieving the measurable objectives of the project : Training and guidance to at least 10 local communities and workers groups, mapping needs for improved accessibility to at least 3 work areas in Jerusalem, surveys in at least 5 neighborhoods or communities in Jerusalem, increasing access by public transport to at least 2 main work areas in Jerusalem.
  • Receiving organizational consulting on the project twice a year
  • Setting 4 monitoring and evaluation sessions during the year that will help in directing efforts to achieve results during each quarter.

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