After lengthy negotiations, Israel's Finance Ministry decided that CityPass company will not be the one to extend the Jerusalem light rail's existing "Red Line."
On Monday, it was announced that whichever company won the tender for the "Green Line" would also be responsible for extending the existing Red Line until Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in the city's south and Neve Yaakov in the city's north. The same company would also be responsible for building a line towards the city's Givat Ram and Mount Scopus campuses. This, despite the fact that CityPass has already begun working on the track towards Neve Yaakov.
The decision was made after the Finance and Transportation Ministries found themselves faced with two options: Either offering the tender to another company, or giving in to the financial demands CityPass was making, which would cost another 100 million NIS.
According to the government, negotiations failed because CityPass was trying to use the lengthy negotiations to squeeze money out of the Israeli government.
Meanwhile, CityPass is also competing for the Green Line's tender, and hopes its experience building the Red Line will provide it with a significant advantage over the competition. According to the company, Israel's Finance Ministry misled them, and tried to prevent the signing of an agreement "in any way possible."
In giving the tender to another company, the Israeli government expects to save money in the future, since the cost of building other lines is expected to be significantly lower.