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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Jerusalem Light Rail start date confirmed for this Friday 19 August and it will be free!

Following the concern earlier this week over a last minute delay requested by the Transport Ministry it has been confirmed that the Jerusalem Light Rail in Israel will start taking passengers this Friday morning.  The first trams will roll out at 5:30am and run every 10 to 15 minutes.  A map of the route can be viewed here.

In a surprise announcement CityPass announced that following an agreement with the Transport Ministry, passengers will be able to travel on the light rail for free for the first few months, the Jerusalem Post has reported.

Once charging on the light rail begins passengers will be able to use their Rav-Kav cards on both buses and the trams in Jerusalem, with one price for travel on all vehicles within 1 hour and 15 minutes of first boarding a public transport vehicle.

UPDATE 18/8/11- The Jerusalem Municipality has today confirmed this story, with the following announcement.

"The Jerusalem Municipality is happy to announce that this Friday, 19/08/11, The Light Rail will operate to the city's residents and to take on passengers. Starting from Friday, 14 trains will run along the 23 stations, Mount Herzl, through downtown to Givat Zeev. It is also important to emphasize at this stage of the pilot period, municipal bus lines will continue to run as usual.
For the first two weeks of train operations, it was decided that the trip will be free for the welfare and comfort of all residents.

Each train consists of two cars, that can accommodate 450 seated and standing passengers. The train will operate every weekday from 5:30 am to midnight, and Friday 5:30 to 15:00.

Run parallel to the start  of the railway is the continuing the process of approval of the smart traffic lights throughout the city, designed to give priority to train at intersections, and thereby shorten the travel time even more. At the end of the run, with full commercial operation of the train, travel time is expected to end on 42 minutes.

Mayor Nir Barkat, said that''this is a happy day for Jerusalem and its residents. Despite the difficulties of the birth, the transportation system in Jerusalem in the coming months will gradually become a leader in progressive and welfare of residents and visitors.''

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