Jerusalem light rail 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Jerusalem Regional Planning Committee approved a NIS 1.1 billion allocation
from the Transportation Ministry’s budget on Wednesday to extend the Jerusalem
Light Rail line to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.
According to the
ministry, the extension will take two years to complete and add more than 21.9
kilometers (13.6 miles) to the light rail’s current route – resulting in a total
of 36.2 kilometers (22.5 miles) of tracks.
The railway currently travels
from the northern neighborhood of Neveh Ya’acov to Mount Herzl, west of central
Transportation Minister Israel Katz hailed the expansion on
Thursday, noting that it was part of a joint effort between the ministry and the
Jerusalem Municipality to provide more efficient transportation solutions to the
“The public transportation system in Jerusalem is
going through a revolution that can be an example to other cities in the
country,” said Katz.
“In a few years, hundreds of thousands of Jerusalem
residents, and the many visitors who visit the city, will enjoy a pleasant and
safe ride on the light rail.”
Katz said the extension was due in part to
accommodate the high volume of visitors and staff at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical
“Every day about 30,000 people visit the Hadassah hospital, in
addition to the thousands of hospital employees,” he said.
transport will make the hospital more efficient and help visitors driving there
save money collected from all vehicles entering the hospital.”
ministry has already begun preparatory work to extend the line, including the
construction of new stations, and it plans to purchase dozens of new cars, which
Katz said will allow the light rail to transport roughly 250,000 passengers
Earlier in the year, the municipality announced plans to extend
the railway from the Kiryat Moshe station to the Har Nof
Katz said the ministry is modeling the system after those
in European countries that have significantly cut down on traffic and pollution
by creating efficient and convenient railways.
“Soon we will buy more
cars in order to meet the many demands of the light rail network and we intend
to build light rail lines similar to those in Europe,” he said.
expenditures for the project are expected to reach NIS 4 billion.