NTA CEO: Tel Aviv light rail timetable fanciful

Other professional sources say that even if there are no more delays, the Red Line will not be completed before 2020.

"The timetable for building the Tel Aviv light rail is fanciful," NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. CEO Itzhak Zuchman told the infrastructures committee.

Commenting on the "Globes" report that the light rail project auditor believes that the Red Line project will be ready in 2023, and not in 2017 in accordance with the government decision, Zuchman said, "The timetable prepared by the franchisee was completely unrealistic. They took the biggest, most complex and expensive project in Israel, and gave it six and half years to be completed. Building a simple road takes six and a half years. We were the first to write an orderly timetable on a quantitative basis, and, for the first time, we can say that there will be a train."

Under the government's original timetable, tenders to build the project were to be completed by the end of 2012. In early July, "Globes" reported that the auditor's report to the Ministry of Finance warned about a six-year delay in the completion date. Other professional sources say that even if there are no more delays, the project will not be completed before 2020. This forecast is based on at least six years construction time for the railway, and that the main construction tenders are far from being completed.

Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz said, "NTA is building the Tel Aviv light rail, a complex project in which we've encountered some difficulties, but I have no doubt that it will be built. Within a few months, we will receive the true timetable for completing this project. It was obvious to all of us from the outset that the estimate was unrealistic, and in the end we knew that we'd reach the numbers that are now being mentioned. I will make sure that this project will be managed in an exemplary manner."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 25, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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