The Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Transportation announced Tuesday that starting on Sunday, May 30, entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem via the Jaffa Gate will be prohibited during the day to private cars.
Between the hours of 9am and 6pm, private cars not belonging to residents of the Old City or to disabled or handicapped visitors will not be permitted entrance. Between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m., all cars will be able to travel freely in and out of the ancient walled capital.
A new phone number, *2180, will be available to issue special entrance permits to suppliers and service providers.
The new changes are part of a new "park and ride" initiative for the Old City. Visitors will now be required to use discounted parking lots with access to bus #38, which will take them to the Old City..
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat praised the measure as a way of preserving the character of ancient Jerusalem. "This is the most important historical site in the world," said Mayor Barkat. "We must preserve and protect the Old City in order that it stay beautiful, clean and accessible to everyone. I am glad the Jerusalem Municipality was able to formulate better solutions for public access and of course full access for Old City residents. This is how it works in all the world's historic cities."
Officials said the move would enable easier mobility within the city for visitors and residents, and would significantly reduce exhaust pollution from cars.
Convenient parking options include free parking at the light rail train parking lot, and reduced parking at Mamilla Alrov parking lot. At Mamilla, the first two hours are free, with 15 shekel parking for Jerusalem residents per day, and 25 shekel parking for other visitors per day.
As for the 38 bus, ticket prices will be 25 shekels a day for parents and up to five children, with unlimited travel to and from the Old City. Single tickets will be available for 10 shekels, with unlimited travel to and from the Old City. The 38 line will complete one circuit an hour between the center of town, the parking lots, and the Old City.
In addition, lines 1, 2, and 3 will continue providing service to the Old City at their usual frequency.