M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentBen-Shabbat Gilboa Iris
SubjectTrends and Travel Characteristics at the Carmelit between
the Years 1973-2001
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors ASSOCIATE PROF. Pnina Plaut


This paper analyzes the changes in passenger demand and travel behavior in the "Carmelit", the Haifa subway, that took place during the period 1973-2001. The need for such an investigation derives from the decline in Carmelit passengers in recent years.  The Carmelit provides an alternative route for those who wish to reach Carmel Center, coming from downtown, and passing through the Hadar CBD.  Previous surveys from 1974, 1979, 1986  allow comparison of trends and passenger numbers using the Carmelit. The current survey (2001) uses similar questions to previous ones and so allows longitudinal comparisons.

In the years 1974, 1979 and 1986 Carmelit service was closed for extensive repairs and maintenance. Those periods provided the opportunity to investigate the selection of alternative transportation services by erstwhile Carmelit passengers. The information drawn from those surveys was collected after each shutdown period, focusing on passenger behavior and alternative transportation methods selected.

The study here focuses on several issues:

1. Comparing the number of trips made by means of the Carmelit over the indicated period vs. alternative travel modes chosen by its passengers, and identifying the factors that influenced those trends and changes.

2.  Conducting a survey of Carmelit use in 2001, after the Carmelit was renovated, and reopened using a sample based on 959  questionnaires filled out by passengers.

3.  The 2001 survey allows comparison across years from 1973 to 2001, since similar questionnaire formulations were being used.throughout. The questionnaires provided information about commuter preferences for transportation services, particularly among those who ordinarily preferred traveling by the Carmelit instead of private car or bus.        

    The conclusion of this study is that continuation of the operations of the Carmelit service does not appear to be financially warranted.    Nevertheless, if it is desired to preserve the operations of the Carmelit, Haifa city planners and policy makers need to consider a transportation network that will include the integration of the Carmelit with the prospective light rail system now under construction and with the bus network. Other alternative solutions are presented in chapter 2 and 9.  One way to promote use of the Carmelit, is to restrict the number of available parking lots in the CBD of Haifa, in effect forcing car owners to use public transportation. Research shows that the inability to find reasonable parking slots enhances the demand for public transportation.