Jerusalem light rail 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
In another setback for Jerusalem’s transportation hopes, the Knesset delayed the
implementation of a law that regulates light rail systems, which was supposed to
be a requirement before the new train begins operating. It is still scheduled to
begin moving passengers on Friday.
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The CityPass consortium that built and
will run the system denied that the delayed law would have any effect on
The light rail is still missing a major safety permit – the
Independent Safety Assessment – which is awarded by an international body. The
train cannot carry passengers without it.
Gitit Sheinen, the legal
adviser to CityPass, told the Knesset Economics Committee that the company “was
doing everything possible, within the timeframe, to have limited operation at
the end of the week.”
Sources said the law, initiated by the
Transportation Ministry, is meant to set regulations for all future light rails
across the country. It is supposed to go into effect on September 14 and will
have little or no impact on the capital’s light rail, the sources
Arbitration between the Jerusalem Municipality, the Transportation
Ministry and CityPass will continue this week. CityPass faces a hefty fine if it
does not begin partial operation of the train on Friday, though the amount has
yet to be determined.
Officials are still unsure if the train will
function on a limited basis if it opens on Friday. In April, it was supposed to
be partially operational along Jaffa Road for a symbolic fee, but that didn’t