New Jerusalem light rail route passes district planning committee

The Purple Line, destined to cross the capital from East to West and intersect its three other lines, passed a major hurdle on Wednesday.

 The Jerusalem light rail.  (photo credit: ARIEL ZANDBERG)
The Jerusalem light rail.
(photo credit: ARIEL ZANDBERG)

The Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee approved the plan for the Jerusalem light rail's new Purple Line, paving the way for its final approval, the committee announced on Wednesday.

The Purple Line was planned on an East-West axis, running through the neighborhoods Kiryat Hayovel, Malha, Pat and the Katamonim. The line will be 4.5 kilometers long and will include 8 stations. It will also intersect the other lines - Red, Blue and Green - making the light rail grid significantly larger, the committee said in its decision. 

The project will be funded from the national budget's NIS 13 billion earmarked for the capital's light rail system. The project includes supplementary construction in the areas around the railway in order to make it accessible.

The Purple Line's route expresses the district planning committee's policy to strengthen the city's older neighborhoods, according to the district planner Shira Talmai-Babai. These neighborhoods, which were originally populated mostly by new immigrants, are currently undergoing widespread urban renewal and the new light rail line will make the city center much more accessible via public transportation, she explained.

Israelis take the light rail in Jerusalem amid the coronavirus pandemic (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Israelis take the light rail in Jerusalem amid the coronavirus pandemic (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)