Work underway on Tel Aviv light rail stations

Tel Aviv light rail construction

Transport Minister Yisrael Katz recommends buying property near the Red Line.

Work began in earnest yesterday on the underground stations of the Tel Aviv light rail in the city center. Despite the main traffic and public transport changes, there was no major congestion or incidents, in part because many Israelis are on their summer vacation.

Speaking at a press conference from the construction site headquarters, Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz said, 'Work has begun on the Tel Aviv light rail and the sky has not fallen in. There is an outlook in life that says do nothing and you won't have any problems but you also won't have any solutions. I don't accept this outlook. For more than 60 years people have been talking about this and now it is happening. I prefer if things get started even if they are only 90% ready, rather than the 100% is only on paper."

Katz spoke about the lack of congestion on the first full day of building works. "People are driving less today because it is summer. People are up tight and panicky. There will be difficulties. In the coming few weeks we will complete car and ride parks in Rishon Lezion, Netanya, Herzliya and Kiryat Shaul so that whoever wants to reach the city and return on public transport can do so."

Speaking about property values around the light rail's Red Line Katz said, "If within a year or two, it is seen that the work is being carried out seriously, then the value of real estate will rise. How do I know? Because I see what is happening in Afula and Netivot, and places where railway stations are being built. The moment it becomes serious then real estate values go up."

On the harm expected to businesses, Katz said, "I think they should be helped as much as possible. But if I was a property owner renting out his real estate, I have to understand that the value of my property will be going up in the future. My recommendation is to buy up property around the light rail line because they will become very attractive in the coming few years.

He said, "In Jerusalem the Mahane Yehuda market is flourishing because of the Jerusalem light rail. Other businesses in the area are also booming.

Asked whether the Tel Aviv light rail will operate on Friday nights and Saturdays, Katz said, "There is no point in deciding today about a railway that will only operate in six years time. When the time comes will talk about it."

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai said, "This is an historic moment. They have begun work on the light rail. I myself drove here to the works area today using the Waze app and it kept to the estimate time of arrival. Nothing dramatic happened."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 4, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 4, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Tel Aviv light rail construction
Tel Aviv light rail construction
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