Jerusalem light rail.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Construction of a new, 20-kilometer- long second light rail line was approved by the Jerusalem Municipality’s Planning Committee, clearing the way for final approval by the regional committee.
The Blue Line, as it has been named, will serve up to 250,000 residents from Gilo in the south to Ramot in the north.
A second part of the line will also traverse Malha, Emek Refaim and Ramot.
Presently, the Red Line, which became operational in 2011, services tens of thousands of residents and visitors each day from Pisgat Ze’ev to Mount Herzl.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz lauded the development, adding that the high-speed, 28-minute railway to Tel Aviv under construction will complete the revolutionizing of transportation in the ancient city.
“This is a happy day for residents of Israel,” said Katz in a statement.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who has long championed the nascent light rail system, echoed Katz’s sentiments that the city’s burgeoning transportation infrastructure is taking it firmly into the 21st century.
“Jerusalem is gaining momentum in transportation development that sets it apart as an advanced city,” he said. “The city’s residents will be able to enjoy shortened travel times, fewer traffic jams, cleaner air, and exciting urban renewal.”
According to Nadav Meroz, in charge of implementing the Blue Line, the project will take several years to complete.
“The planners hope this advanced and efficient transportation network... will allow residents...
to leave their cars at home and use modern and clean transportation to save valuable time.”
Meanwhile, a third route, to be called the Green Line, which will run from Mount Scopus to Gilo, is awaiting approval, the municipality said.