At the center of the issue of transportation and traffic in Haifa is the understanding that it is essential that every resident and visitor to the city can get anywhere in a reasonable period of time. To enable this, a variety of transportation services must be developed that will provide a solution for different populations.
Improving the mobile (means of transportation) and stationary (transportation infrastructure) public space, improving accessibility around urban activity hubs, connections between parts of the city and developing a variety of means of transportation that will serve residents and visitors – together will lead to:
  • Spending less time on the road and more time being active
  • Improving Haifa’s image in health and environmental terms
  • Fewer parking spaces and more public space and economically yielding areas
  • Greater social equality thanks to a variety of technological means that enable the mobility of various populations
In order to realize this vision, transportation projects currently being advanced include policy plans for parking, a master plan for transportation, building escalators, paving bicycle paths, developing routes to complete and improve the urban street network, improving the connections between neighborhoods and developing transportation links, redesigning significant transportation routes such as the Carmel Ridge corridor, Ibn Gvirol Street, Highway 4, and more.
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At the center of the issue of transportation and traffic in Haifa is the understanding that it is essential that every resident and visitor in the city can get anywhere in a reasonable period of time. To enable this, a variety of transportation services must be developed that will provide a solution for different populations.

A private vehicle is suitable for those who can and are allowed to drive, and can bear the economic cost of maintaining it. Public transportation (as long as it is accessible to the disabled) is an egalitarian means suitable for anyone. Bicycles are only suitable for those who are physically able to ride, while walking (even from the car to the elevator) is part of every trip made by anyone.

The level of motorization in Haifa is increasing at a similar rate to the rest of the country. Over the past decade, the number of registered vehicles in the city has grown by 25%, from some 100,000 to about 125,000. Leased vehicles and vehicle fleets are not necessarily registered in the city, so there may be a deviation of up to 20%. The increasing number of vehicles means more trips, and, of course, greater demand for parking all over the city.

With the opening of new traffic routes such as Route 22 (the Krayot bypass), connecting Route 75 to Route 22 (in addition to the opening of Route 6 North and the Carmel Tunnels, including a direct connection to Route 22), the volumes of metropolitan traffic entering the city have increased. Today, about 200,000 vehicles enter Haifa every day – about 60% from the north and 25% from the south. All of these increase the demand for parking in the employment and commercial areas.

This is the picture in terms of public transport: The railway serves an average of 25,000 passengers a day via lines from the south, north and east. Three BRT lines (Metronit) connect the Krayot area )Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Ata and Kiryat Haim) with Haifa and serve about 75,000 passengers daily, alongside some 125 intercity bus lines. In the very near future, two more BRT lines and an urban cable car are about to start operating. Within Haifa there are about 110 municipal bus lines serving some 50,000 passengers daily. The Carmelit underground funicular railway transports about 4,000 passengers a day.

A total of 20% of trips are made by public transport today. In other words – the quality of service offered by public transport is insufficient, does not stop the increasing level of motorization nor meet the growing potential demand.

Bicycle use is also low – there are hardly any bike paths and a shortage of comfortable sidewalks. Moreover, the city’s topography makes soft traffic (pedestrians and bicycles) difficult.

Against the background of the above-described situation, the following vision has been defined:

כרמלית חיפה

The Vision

The vision is to improve the mobile public space (means of transportation) and stationary public space (transportation infrastructure), enhance accessibility around urban centers of activity, connect parts of the city and develop a variety of transportation means that will serve residents and visitors.

Efficient transportation can serve present and future development and urban activity; support the development of tourism, sports and culture; and also be a development engine for tourist attractions and commercial and employment centers. If planned and operated correctly and from an overall perspective, it is possible to manage demand in the city while providing a reliable service to all, integrated into the urban public space, improving the environment (less noise and pollution) and enhancing residents’ quality of life (fewer traffic jams, saving money and time, freeing up space along the streets for people).

Studies show that the more diverse the means of transportation that serve a particular area, the more attractive and accessible it becomes. Attractive public transport is reliable transportation: the information about it is accessible to the user, the trip does not require more than two transfers, the interfaces between different lines and means of transportation are convenient, the starting and ending points of the trip are close to landmarks (there is a clear preference of proximity over parking spaces designed for private vehicles).

It is also known that residents’ quality of life rises as the public space improves. Therefore, it is necessary to work to restore the streets and return them to the people (instead of cars), create a walking network whose routes are inviting (trees, shade, vegetation, benches), vacate asphalt parking lots and convert them into public green open spaces, and reduce air pollution and noise by encouraging the use of bicycles, walking and public transport instead of private vehicles.

The Objectives

In order to enable the city’s residents and guests to move around in the best way possible, we must operate in two directions – to develop diverse transportation around existing and planned sites, and plan urban centers near existing transportation centers or areas where a high level of service can be offered by a variety of transportation means

Haifa’s fundamental characteristics are its topography and natural assets (forests, mountain and coastal areas). These assets are a topographical challenge, but much more than that represent potential and an opportunity that must be exploited and leveraged for the benefit of residents and visitors. Therefore, transportation should be planned so that it will allow everyone to reach these assets, and in order to turn them into attractions for tourists and lovers of sports and culture, while maintaining their quality.

Synchronizing between the master plans for parking, public transport, escalators and bicycle paths may change the patterns of use of transportation, demand and the way the city’s residents travel. This transformation will have a far-reaching impact on the urban, economic and tourist development of the city, as well as on the public sphere and quality of life

As already stated above, every person’s journey begins and ends with walking (or using a micro-mobility vehicle). Therefore, we must work to improve accessibility in general, and around focal points and along major routes in particular, in order to encourage walking and make it a pleasant and safe experience.

: In parallel with preparing the policy documents for street design guidelines, the transfers between the various means of transportation and manner of pedestrian traffic in the city will be examined and planned from a systemic perspective.

For the benefit of the city’s residents and visitors, every move to promote transportation in general and the transportation projects presented below in particular will be supported by technological means to provide users with information about the various transportation services in and around the city and the use of the service itself. 

For the benefit of the city’s residents and visitors, every move to promote transportation in general and the transportation projects presented below in particular will be supported by technological means to provide users with information about the various transportation services in and around the city and the use of the service itself.  

The Work Plan – Projects and Tasks

Tasks and projects were derived from the above-described objectives that will lead to the necessary change and realization of the vision, step by step.

Comprehensive Projects

Master Plan for Transportation (in its early stages): An action plan for the next 15 years that will define the stages of developing the city’s transportation system for all means of transportation, taking into account the development of other areas such as urban renewal, economic development and tourism. The plan will combine all the master plans dealing with transportation that were prepared and approved at the beginning of this municipal term – master plans for bicycle paths, escalators and parking, and the master plan for public transport currently promoted by the Ministry of Transport in cooperation with the Haifa municipality. The plan will also define street design guidelines in terms of transportation, and will guide planners of detailed plans on how to design streets and intersections, public transportation centers, bike lane infrastructure and more. This program is currently in the definitions and characterizations stages. A tender for its preparation will be published in about three months (end of 2021). The winners will be required to submit a bid within 12-18 months, including timetables for carrying out the individual plans according to their extent (2-5 years, 5-10 years and 10-15 years).

Thematic master plans: The master plan for transportation will be the overall umbrella of the thematic plans – the master plan for public transport (buses, in preparation, awaiting the thawing of Ministry of Transport budgets), master plan for parking (approaching approval), master plan for escalators and walkways (approved, detailed planning has begun for implementing Stage A), master plan for connecting neighborhoods and ridge declines (consisting of various urban construction plans, each in a different status, as described below). The master plan for transportation will synchronize between them so that they all lead to the objectives defined in the vision. They must be given ongoing guidance and a critical view to make them a policy tool for achieving these goals.

Neve Sha’anan neighborhood: This is the largest neighborhood in Haifa, the size of an average Israeli city (such as Ramat Hasharon, Karmiel or neighboring Kiryat Motzkin). Therefore, we must analyze demand forecasts and identify vulnerabilities of accessibility and the transportation network’s (roads and public transportation) capacity, and on this basis to create systemic solutions for every urban renewal project in the neighborhood. The goal is to create in cooperation with the city’s Engineering Administration and Long-Term Planning Division a work program with recommendations and principled solutions, which will guide from a systemic perspective and involve all the planning teams.  

Escalators: Establishing escalators and walkways that will bring residents closer to urban activity centers (both physically and psychologically), and will become an attraction for tourists. Within a year, two axes will operate connecting major urban centers, producing an accessible and attractive walking space. The project will be accompanied by economic, tourism, cultural and other development. In cooperation with the Engineering Administration and the Yefe Nof construction company.

Connecting neighborhoods and opening neighborhoods that are confined from the ridge: Creating a network of connections between the ridge neighborhoods and its slopes (westward), improving the neighborhoods’ accessibility from different directions and building infrastructure for connections between them. Developing the network will lead to the dispersal of traffic and shortening of public transport travel times. These are the urban construction plans:

  • Denya-Tirat Carmel – Connecting to the southern outskirts and towards Route 4; initial planning has been completed and alternatives to the declines were chosen. An urban building scheme is required.
  • Carmelia-Megurashei Sefarad St. – Bringing the Carmelia neighborhood closer to the Haifa South interchange; connecting Carmelia with Megurashei Sefarad St., and connecting the Kababir neighborhood with Shlomo Hamelech St. create another link between Kababir and Carmelia. Alternatives have been chosen for the road’s route. An urban building scheme is required
  • Kababir-Shlomo Hamelech St. – Connecting between the Moriah axis, through the Kababir neighborhood on the Carmel slopes to Shlomo Hamelech Street, and from there to the southern outskirts of Haifa. Supports the development of the ridge axis as a public transport route. The project includes the construction of a single-lane two-way road between Shlomo Hamelech St. and Lavona St. in Kababir, arranging junctions and regulating traffic along the streets linking the neighborhood. Detailed planning has been completed.
  • B’nai B’rith St.-Freud Rd. – Connecting the ridge axis to the southern outskirts (the Matam hi-tech park) and supporting the Carmel Ridge public transport project. A new section of road, Route 2502, will be paved, connecting the Ramat Begin neighborhood (B’nai B’rith, Soroka and Watson Lionel streets) to the Freud axis road. The new traffic artery is based on approved statutory plans throughout, and includes the construction of two bridges over two streams that cross it. Detailed planning has been completed. 
  • Ramat Almogi (the Fliman Geriatric Hospital)-Hankin Road (Givat Zemer) – An arterial urban axis between the southeastern neighborhoods of the Carmel Ridge route to Hankin Road and the Carmel Tunnels and the Gibborim Stream road. The route supports public transport. Detailed planning has been completed. Work is currently in progress. Will open in the coming months. 
  • Savyonei Denya-Biram (Ramat Alon) – Paving a road (including the construction of supporting walls and installing lighting and infrastructure) that will connect two hills in the Ramat Alon neighborhood, to facilitate residents. Detailed planning has been completed. 
  • Vizhnitz-Ruppin – Connecting the Vizhnitz quarter to the Ma’onot Geula neighborhood through an emergency-only breakthrough road to Rabbi Kaniel Street. Executed and opened for emergency traffic only. 
  • Vardia-Rabbi Kaniel connection – Another outlet for the Vardia neighborhood towards Rabbi Kaniel Street (Ma’onot Geula). Work currently in progress, before completion. The majority has already been paved, including landscaping.


Developing a network of bicycle paths: Paving a bicycle path in Kiryat Eliezer and Neve Sha’anan towards the Technion, as part of developing a network of bicycle paths to encourage cycling in the city. Preparing traffic plans, examining alternatives and choosing effective alternatives. Budget allocation for execution within six months. In cooperation with the Engineering Administration and the public.


Highway 4 – Haifa’s southern entrance: Examining alternatives to redesigning Highway 4 in the urban area, to reduce the buffer between southern neighborhoods and the coast, improve access to the sea, enhance road safety along the route and upgrade public transport accessibility for the benefit of neighborhood residents. In cooperation with the Engineering Administration.

Comprehensive transportation solution for the ridge axis – In parallel with the presentation of solutions for the “entrapped” neighborhoods and in light of the Metronit program planned for the ridge axis, various options for transportation solutions are currently being examined throughout the route. This program will be advanced in 2022.

Local Projects

Ibn Gvirol axis: Developing the axis as a safe urban street while creating an open public space to improve the quality of life of residents of the nearby neighborhood; improving connections with urban areas of activity and expanding the infrastructure for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Accompanying the process, planning and execution by the Engineering Administration. 

Altering the City Hall plaza: Expanding the plaza while reducing the volume of roads that cross between it and the Memorial Garden.

Contribution and the Benefits

All the projects presented above are expected to contribute to all the city’s residents as follows:

  • Less time on the road and more time for other activities – less traffic congestion, shortened travel times by public transport, less time spent searching for parking 
  • Improving the quality of life in Haifa in health and environmental terms – less air pollution and more physical activity (walking, cycling)
  • Less noise of motorized vehicles – improving quality of life, creating a pleasant and attractive environment for both the city’s residents and visitors
  • Fewer parking spaces and more public space – beneficial utilization of central urban areas, less tarmacked areas, more green spaces
  • Fewer parking spaces and more economically yielding areas – utilizing space for economic returns
  • More social equality thanks to a variety of technological means that allow the mobility of a variety of populations
  • Encouraging tourism by improving accessibility, connections between focal points and attractions around the transportation centers, leading to economic growth.

Transportation Projects