Tel Aviv light rail to open to public later this month - report

There is still no official launch date for the light rail.

 A test drive for the Tel Aviv light rail in Jaffa, on May 17, 2023 (photo credit: Omer Fichman/Flash90)
A test drive for the Tel Aviv light rail in Jaffa, on May 17, 2023
(photo credit: Omer Fichman/Flash90)

After long delays, the Tel Aviv light rail is expected to begin public operations later in July, after receiving safety permits it was lacking, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

The opening of the light rail has been delayed repeatedly in recent months, due to safety issues with the braking and signaling system of the train.

After receiving the safety permits, the light rail now only needs a final operating permit from the Transportation Ministry to begin operating.

The red line of the light rail, the only line ready as of yet, will travel between Petah Tikva to Bat Yam, running through Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak, and Ramat Gan.

According to Calcalist, the German company hired to certify the safety of the light rail line sent a letter to NTA - Metropolitan Mass Transit System on Thursday granting them the necessary safety permits.

Trial runs of the new Metropolitan Light Rail in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The Light Rail will run through Tel Aviv and surrounding central cities. June 6, 2023. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Trial runs of the new Metropolitan Light Rail in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The Light Rail will run through Tel Aviv and surrounding central cities. June 6, 2023. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

There is still no official launch date for the light rail.

Recent announcements about the opening of the light rail

Two weeks ago, Petah Tikva Mayor Rami Greenberg announced that the Tel Aviv light rail was expected to open in July, although the company that operates the line stressed at the time that there is still no confirmed opening.

"This morning [I held] a meeting with the head of the NTA - Metropolitan Mass Transit System and the CEO of Tevel, the company that will actually operate the light rail," said Greenberg at the time. "The goal: final arrangements for the full operation and boarding of passengers already during the coming month - July 2023."

According to Israeli media, Greenberg's announcement was not coordinated with the Transportation Ministry, and officials expressed outrage at Greenberg's post.

"If Rami Greenberg and NTA officials sign a personal guarantee for the lives and safety of passengers, the Transportation Ministry will approve the opening of the train without the safety permits required by law," said a Transportation Ministry official to Ynet at the time.