Minister of Transport Miri Regev has told the "Globes" Israel Real Estate Conference" that she is opposed to building the planned Tel Aviv Metro and would prefer to promote infrastructures that would link outlying regions with central Israel.
Regev said, "When I came to the ministry, like most Israelis, I was sure that they were already working on the Metro because people were calling the Tel Aviv light rail the Metro. So let's put things straight. There is a plan for three Tel Aviv light rail lines, which must provide a solution for the Gush Dan region, and there is a plan for a Metro, which will cost NIS 150 billion for the part which is in the planning stages and has been deposited for objections."
She continued, "There are the three light rail lines in Gush Dan, which suffers most from traffic congestion, which will cost NIS 60 billion, and there is a plan for bicycle paths to link up Gush Dan, which will cost NIS 600 million. Therefore, if the (Metro) plan will be put up for implementation, I will oppose it, because I think that at the moment we need to connect outlying regions with the center with an additional railway network in parallel to the coastal railway line. That would bring about a dispersal of the population and employment and move employees from the center of the country to the north and south and to Judea and Samaria."
So at the moment you are against moving forward with the Metro?
"We will deposit the plan. Regarding the time we need to implement it, I'll consult with the cabinet. It's not possible to put all the money in the Dan Metropolitan area, we need to link up Israel and if we want to create new jobs in the north and south and provide a solution for the transfer of the IDF to the Negev, we must invest in accessible and available infrastructures. It is clear that at the moment there isn't money for both.
Instead Regev says that she wants to allocate NIS 100 billion to complete Israel Railways projects including the eastern inland railway line from Rosh Ha'ayin to Lod and extend the railway line northwards from Hadera to Kiryat Shmona and southwards from Dimona to Eilat.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 26, 2020
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