The Israeli government has signed an agreement to buy back the Jerusalem light rail Red Line concession from CityPass for NIS 1.6 billion. The acquisition will allow the government to then transfer operations of the existing Red Line to the JNET consortium of Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd. (TASE:SPEN) and its Spanish partner CAF, which won the tender to build and operate the Green Line. The Red Line, the Jerusalem light rail's first line, which has been operating since 2011, extends 14 kilometers from Pisgat Ze'ev in the north via the city center and bus station to Mount Herzl.
In the past, the government attempted to reach an agreement with CityPass on the extension of the Red Line northwards to Neve Yaakov and southwards to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem but to no avail. Consequently, the government decided to transfer the entire Jerusalem light rail - the existing Red Line and construction and operation of the extensions, and the building and operating of the Green Line - to one operator. The deal to buy the Red Line from CityPass includes the rolling stock and the depot, maintenance and control center in north Jerusalem.
The Green Line will extend from the Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus in the north to Malkah and Gilo in the south with branch lines to the Hebrew University's Givat Ram campus and Givat Shaul. It will encompass five routes and 40 kilometers of tracks.
With the signing of the agreement to transfer the Red Line from CityPass to JNET, the Ministry of Finance expects the Red Line extensions to Neve Yaakov and Hadassah Ein Kerem to be completed and operating by 2022.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 12, 2020
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020