An agreement has been reached to clear the much-maligned central bus station in south Tel Aviv that has been criticized as a source of crime and pollution, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli announced on Tuesday.
The deal was struck following lengthy negotiations between the Transport and Road Safety Ministry, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, the finance and housing ministries and the Israel Lands Authority.
"I am proud and happy to inform you that the Tel Aviv central bus station will be cleared," Michaeli said in a statement. "It won’t happen tomorrow morning, but this eyesore which is an environmental, health and transport hazard, will be cleared from here."
As part of the agreement, buses that depart for destinations across the country will continue to operate but will be transferred to alternative locations, which the statement did not specify.
"In the near future we will see alternative sites, more electric buses, better service and less of the Tel Aviv central bus station and its pollution," Michaeli said.
The second largest bus station in the world is located in the poorest section of the city and has for years suffered from neglect and disrepair.
According to earlier media reports, the plan is to cease all bus departures and arrivals by 2023 and by 2025 to completely dismantle the concrete ramps used by the buses. Then, over the following five to 10 years the building will be repurposed.