Yossi Saidov - 15 Minutes Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Saidov previously served as deputy editor of Kol Ha’Ir, an online magazine about Jerusalem happenings, was one of the founders of the residents’ committee for Park HaMesila in Jerusalem and served as chairman of the Gonenim Community Administration in Jerusalem. 15 Minutes was established in 2009 as a community initiative by Yossi Saidov and Ehud Uziel to fight for the creation of a direct bus line from their neighborhood in Jerusalem, Katamon, to the central bus station. The two estimated that the travel time on a direct route would take 15 minutes. The first residents' meeting was attended by dozens of residents from all over Jerusalem and the group immediately became one for all Jerusalem residents. After being active in Jerusalem for three years, the founding group understood that the need to organize public transportation consumers to advocate for their transport rights was a national necessity. They decided to become a recognized non-profit and recruited former general director of Green Course Gil Yaacov to lead the way. By the way, the bus that Saidov and Uziel dreamed of was launched in 2014, as line number 15.
Gil Yaacov - 15 Minutes Executive Director
Yaacov began his promoting public transportation through volunteer activities in Green Course in 2002, and since then, he believes this is the principle issue when it comes to creating social, economic and environmental change. Gil has extensive experience in community organizing and citizen activism. He has served as coordinator of the Coalition for Public Health in Haifa and Northern Israel, Director of Green Course, and as an environmental and public relations consultant for various initiatives. Gil earned his B.A. from the University of Haifa. "The cost of living and the cost of housing are very much influenced by the current policy to create infrastructure that prefers private cars. Israeli citizens need to take out a second mortgage to afford a private car, pay dearly from their pockets and suffer long travel times due to the lack of adequate public transport services. On a personal level, I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to reach any central location within my city from my home using public transportation within 15 minutes... "
Dafna Ohry - 15 Minutes Public Inquiries Coordinator
Dafna began her work at 15 Minutes as an intern from the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University. After two years as an intern she established the first 15 Minute hotline, and today manages hotline operations and data collection. “Do not hesitate to let us know about any problem, proposal, story or idea relating to public transport, and we will help you to create change and improve public transport in your area. In my opinion, it is important to promote public transportation for various reasons. From a social point of view though Israel is a small country, it doesn’t have to stay behind developmentally. From an environmental point of view, it is time to move on to green transportation, and from an economic view, we waste way too much of our precious time in constant traffic jams.
Lara Paran - Community Relations and Citizen Activist Coordinator
Lara began her involvement in environmental/social activism in Tel Aviv while involved with the Green Course organization. She has a master's degree in environmental studies from Tel Aviv University and a rich experience in activism and motivating activists in various environmental organizations, including: Green Course, Greenpeace and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. "Public transportation for me is the basis for a just society, and good public transportation can change the world order because it promotes social equality, can open employment, education and leisure opportunities for all, and it improves the environment by reducing the use of polluting private cars and makes our space more pleasant and less crowded. It is so important to fight for, and I also believe deeply in the power of people to change the reality in which they live. If you think like me, join us!