The Jerusalem Light Rail will begin running on August 19, but will not have right of way at traffic lights during the initial stage, arbitrators in the dispute between the state, the municipality and the franchisee have decided.
The arbitrators accepted the state's position, that the rail cannot be given priority at the traffic lights on time, and rejected the franchisee, CityPass' suggestion to delay the launching by another month.
According to parties involved in the project, the fact that travel time will be considerably longer as a result of having to stop at traffic lights, is a severe blow to the level of service that the residents of Jerusalem will receive. On the other hand, parties in the Jerusalem Municipality's department of transportation believe that it will be able to implement full priority for the rail after the holidays (October) and that the arbitrators' decision allows for a gradual activation of the rail, which is healthier, since it gives the public time to get used the rail, as has occurred in other cities around the world.
The arbitrators decided that the state will make an effort to give the rail priority at traffic lights as soon as possible, but they did not set a specific date. As a result, it might be a many months before the rail receives priority at traffic lights.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 6, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011