Jerusalem Light Rail Faces New Delay
The long-awaited Jerusalem light rail train has been delayed yet again. The train was to begin operating on Friday, but instead, will open only on September 14.
The Knesset's Finance Committee approved the delay. However, Chairman MK Charmel Shama-Hacohen noted that the approval would go into effect only after a second meeting, during which committee members will try to determine if there is any way to open the train within a month's time.
Transportation Ministry representatives said there were two problems leading to the delay: issues with the ticket system currently being used, which the company hopes to solve in the near future, and problems that may be named in a safety report to be submitted Monday.
The report by Germany's TUV AG will follow a report in April that called for the opening to be delayed due to safety issues with the control system.
The Citypass company's legal advisor, Attorney Gitit Sheinin, said, “The company is doing everything possible, within the time limit, to prepare to operate on a limited basis beginning this weekend, and we have made suggestions in accordance with safety considerations.”
The light rail project has faced criticism over repeated delays, harm to downtown businesses, and the major disruption of Jerusalem traffic for the past several years during its construction.