Jerusalem’s light railway began operating on Friday. A few days earlier, Arutz Sheva took a private ride on the new state-of-the-art train in order to find out what Jerusalem’s public transit user can expect once the trains start moving. The following video is accompanied by a song recorded by the Pirchey Yerushalim boys choir in honor of the new train.
The first route of the new light rail, the red line, will run from Pisgat Ze’ev in the north, through Shuafat, Highway 1, Yafo Street, the Jerusalem Chords Bridge, and through Herzl Boulevard to Mt. Herzl.
The route has 23 stops and starts at the light railway station which is located outside Jerusalem’s central bus station.
The train automatically stops at each station and the platform is at the exact same level of the car, making it much easier for handicapped persons or people with baby carriages to board the train without the need to ask other passengers for assistance.
Another change that passengers can expect is that the driver will be just that – a driver. In the light rail, the driver concentrates on driving and does not deal with taking fares or counting change, as all that is done automatically using the validation machine at each door of the car.
The light rail can fit 500 people per train and during peak times arrives once every four-and-a-half minutes, meaning that more people can take public transit and get to work quickly without having to get stuck in traffic.
At present, the traffic lights along the route have not been coordinated to respond to the trains' presence, so the ride from the first to last stop is longer than it will be once that is accomplished.
And with the light railway finally here, the Jerusalem Chords Bridge which has become an identifying mark of the entrance to Jerusalem finally has a purpose. The train will travel on the bridge and avoid the traffic jams and the traffic lights under the bridge at the city’s center.