By 2023, Vacate the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station.
Along with Tel Aviv City Council member Shula Keshet; the Chair of the Neve Sha'anan Neighborhood Committee; council members and activists from the Struggle to Vacate the Central Bus Station; and the organization Green Course, ACRI petitioned the Tel Aviv District Court on April 27, 2022. The petitioners demanded that the outline for the evacuation of the Central Bus Station by 2023 be upheld, which was agreed upon between the Tel Aviv Municipality and a number of government ministries led by the Ministry of Transportation, or that an alternative outline be signed off on that would ensure the vacation of the station by that date.
The petition notes that the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, located in the heart of a residential neighborhood, is the leading hazard in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and the most severe air pollution hazard in Israel. The complex’s management company neglects the place, which suffers from severe defects that even led to the issuance of a closure order due to safety deficiencies. The building and its surroundings are a hotbed for crime, drug trafficking, prostitution, noise disturbances, and litter.
The evacuation of the station has already been decided upon within the framework of Tel Aviv’s master plan, yet the evacuation is conditioned on the establishment of alternative permanent terminals, which are solely expected to open in the year 2040. Throughout 2021, all parties realized that the station could not continue to function for such a prolonged period of time, causing ongoing harm to the entire neighborhood and endangering the health of its residents, resulting in the formulation of an outline for its evacuation by 2023. However, in a puzzling one-sided fashion, the mayor decided to withdraw from the agreements at the last minute, claiming that one of the alternative terminals would harm an urban natural site. The Ministry of Environmental Protection disagrees with this claim.
The petition claims that “due to the mayor’s puzzling conduct, local residents were sentenced to live alongside the severe hazard for many long years to come, and their health is at risk, when it is currently clear that there is a potential feasible alternative for the station’s rapid evacuation.”