The COVID-19 pandemic forced Israel to modernize its transport network almost overnight. Commuter volume decreased after lockdown, but Israel still needed to move a large number of essential workers quickly and cost-effectively, while allowing fewer people onto public transit to observe social distancing rules.
To facilitate efficient low-occupancy commutes during the pandemic, Israel led an ad-hoc initiative to leapfrog out of outdated transit services. It developed a range of creative solutions, such as a large-scale pilot to re-invent mass commuting with cutting-edge technology, combining pooled rides in private cars with on-demand transit services.
Its experience shows that change in this sector is possible, and could serve as a model for many other congested, polluted cities and countries that aspire to a cleaner and more equitable future.