Petition aims to get light rail project on track again
TA mayor formally joins battle to get Finance and Transportation ministers to move the NIS 10 billion project forward quickly.
By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY
September 5, 2009 09:23
1 minute read.
light rail 88.
(photo credit: )
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has formally joined the battle to get the wheels rolling again on the bogged down light rail project in the city, reports www.nrg.co.il. Huldai last week added his signature to a petition by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel that calls on the Finance and Transportation ministers to move the NIS 10 billion project forward quickly.
According to the report, the light rail line in Tel Aviv was supposed to have begun operating a year ago, but the project has been frozen largely because of a funding dispute between the two ministries and the developer, the MTS company headed by entrepreneur Lev Leviev, who is now facing severe financial difficulties. The society initiated the petition in an effort to get the project moving once again, and Huldai last week added his signature to it, alongside those of the mayors of neighboring Bat Yam and Petah Tikva. "Public transport is the topic that most disturbs me at the moment," Huldai said.
The petition states that the massive traffic flow in Gush Dan has a "strong negative impact" on the environment, on society and on the economy, and that the solution lies in the creation of a high-quality and efficient public transport system that would significantly reduce the use of private vehicles in the metropolitan area.
The petition also says that a difference of opinion over funding should not be any reason to stop the project when most sources agree that it is essential and when millions of shekels have already been invested and building permits have been approved for it. It urges Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Leviev "to solve their differences of opinion quickly and to show determination and responsibility" by implementing the project at the earliest possible opportunity.