Barkat demands Katz fire J'lem light rail operator

By MELANIE LIDMAN
May 1, 2012 18:59

 
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Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat sent a scathing letter to Yisrael Katz, the Minister of Transportation, on Tuesday afternoon slamming the light rail operator CityPass for their overzealous fining of passengers who are found without the proper ticket on the train.

He demanded that Katz immediately find a new company to operate the light rail. "The lack of consideration in giving fines to innocent people and the aggressive conduct of CityPass which sometimes humiliates the passengers has caused harm to Jerusalem's reputation and the common interest of making the train efficient, reliable, and convenient," Barkat wrote in his letter.



He suggested that inspectors give people a 0 NIS warning on their first infraction. CityPass spokesman Ozel Vatik said the company was "surprised" by the letter and stressed that they had cooperated fully with the municipality. Hundreds of passengers have already complained about the unclear ticketing system which lead to widespread fines in the trains first few months of operation. Twenty disgruntled passengers are suing the train over their fining practice with the support of the political action group Awakening Jerusalem.

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