Prime Minister Netanyahu cuts the ribbon at the entrance to the light rail
Prime Minister Netanyahu cuts the ribbon at the entrance to the light railNo Credit

The inaugural event for the Tel Aviv light rail was held today (Thursday) at the Kiryat Aryeh operational center in Petah Tikvah in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah.

Also attending the event will be Transportation Minister Miri Regev, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, National Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz, Deputy Transportation Minister Uri Maklev, and numerous transportation officials and municipal leaders of the communities that will benefit from the new light rail.

The Prime Minister and his wife, along with the ministers and other guests, arrived at the inauguration ceremony by riding the new train. During the trip, the level of preparedness of the train for the full commercial operation was presented to the guests, along with the efforts invested in preparation for its opening.

The police announced last night that due to Netanyahu's visit, many roads would be blocked in Tel Aviv and Jaffa starting at 7 in the morning. However, the roads were only blocked at around noon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu cut the ribbon at the ceremony and said that "this line will serve everyone — those who support us and those who oppose us."

“This is a celebratory day for Israel,” he added.

נתניהו, רגב, סמוטריץ', כץ בחנוכת הרכבת
נתניהו, רגב, סמוטריץ', כץ בחנוכת הרכבתצילום: משרד התחבורה

Energy Minister Katz said: "I am open to criticism of the works, but when the dust settles after their completion, the great doubters will realize that the decision we made to carry out the project was important." Katz further stated that "I can say against the background of the protests - this train does not belong to the state of Judah or the state of Tel Aviv but to the State of Israel."

Transportation Minister Regev said: "This is a historic day. It is precisely during these days of division, that this line shows that it is possible to connect Bnei Brak to the towers in Ramat Gan. A red line with different shades." During her speech, Regev thanked the mayors who attended the ceremony and did not mention Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, who boycotted the ceremony.

The train will pass through each of its 36 stations once every six minutes on average, and not every three minutes as initially promised. Since each train is expected to accommodate up to 500 people, the ten trains will pass per hour can accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers.