The Metronit (Hebrew: מטרונית, pronounced Metro-neet; in the logo on the vehicle it is spelled "Matronit"), is a new bus rapid transit system in Haifa, Israel. The name was chosen for several reasons, including the similarity with the names of the existing Carmelit funicular subway and Shkhunatit internal neighbourhood minibus system. The Metronit is unique to Israel in that it uses bi-articulated buses on specific routes. The choice of this mode of transport was due to the advantage of limited damage to the environment during construction, increased capacity on existing roads, and reduced operating costs compared to a standard bus or light rail line.
The Metronit consists of 90 18.75-meter long high-capacity buses on three routes, with a capacity of 120-140 passengers per bus. Some of the buses operate with hybrid engines (6 Phileas buses manufactured by APTS) and are currently being evaluated for more widespread use. The rest of the buses are conventional MAN Lion's City GL Diesel powered buses. The buses travel along 40 kilometers of designated roadways.
The Metronit project was developed by Yefe Nof, a company owned by the City of Haifa which is involved in planning public transportation, infrastructure, and other building projects in the Haifa metropolitan area. A tender for its operation was published in September 2009 with the original intention that the system be completed by Fall 2012. On August 4, 2010, it was announced that Dan won the tender to operate the system for 12 years. The cost of the system is estimated at 1.5 billion NIS (approximately $400 million US). The Metronit began operating on August 16, 2013. The system began testing on August 2nd 2013, and passenger operations on August 16th 2013. Since the BRT system is the first in Israel there were many operational problems at the beginning of operations, caused mainly by no priority in traffic lights, insufficient bus drivers and more passengers than anticipated. There was a period of free ridreship that ended on December 23rd 2013.
In May 2015, the daily ridership on the Metronit was 92,000, with 30 million passengers riding the three lines in the first year.
- Phileas (public transport)
- MAN Lion's City
- "Dan Wins Tender for Operating the Haifa Metronit" (in Hebrew). Calcalist. August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- "Haifa Launches ‘Metronit’ System". Calcalist. August 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
- "Metronit Closes First Year: 30 Million Passengers". Ynet (in Hebrew). May 31, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Metronit official website
- Yefeh Nof profile of the project (Hebrew)
- News report about choosing the name (Hebrew)