Modi'in to Tel Aviv in 20 minutes, starting on Saturday night

Modi'in's new railway station is to open on Saturday night. The station, to be called Pa'atei Modi'in (Modi'in Outskirts) is, as its name implies, on the far reaches of the city. The station is on a completely new line, an extension of the track from Tel Aviv to Ben-Gurion Airport which opened in 2003. The second stage of the project, to Modi'in Central, is scheduled to open at the beginning of 2008. The entire cost of the new line is NIS 1.5 billion. Travel time from Pa'atei Modi'in to Tel Aviv, including a stop at Ben-Gurion Airport, will be about 20 minutes, with a total of 58 trains a day. Timetables are available at Israel Railways expects total passenger numbers on the line to reach one million in 2008. The fare will be NIS 12.50, a monthly hofshi hodshi ticket will cost NIS 325, and the price of a combined hofshi hodshi and bus ticket will be NIS 365. While the new line is generally welcomed, not everything is rosy. There are serious access problems to the station, with only one narrow road leading to it. Even now, before the station has opened, the number of cars heading to the nearby Yishpro shopping and entertainment center on Fridays is so high that a person is employed solely to direct traffic. The railway station will undoubtedly make things worse. There is no other access to the station from any direction, and no evidence of any other road under construction. The station has a large car park, and train passengers are expected to drive from the surrounding area and leave their cars at the station. However, with such problematic road access, the train journey from Modi'in to Tel Aviv is likely to take longer than driving all the way.