Jerusalem is gearing up for the most complex project in its history, the Blue Line Light Rail project. This groundbreaking initiative will be established using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) method, and it is set to revolutionize the city's transportation infrastructure.
Jtrain Ltd, a dedicated company jointly owned by Dania Sibus (+2.29%), Dan, and the Spanish COMSA, will take on the responsibility of constructing, operating, maintaining, and financing the Blue Line. The initial operating period is slated for seven years, with the option to extend for another 18 years, and a long-term commitment to maintain the network for 25 years. The planning phase for the Blue Line is set to commence in the coming year, with gradual activation expected to start in 2028 and full operation targeted for 2030.
The ambitious Blue Line project encompasses the construction of tracks for three light rail lines spanning approximately 31 kilometers. These lines will connect the southern Gila and Talfiot neighborhoods to the northern Ramat Eshkol and Ramot neighborhoods. Notably, the Blue Line will include a 2-kilometer underground section from Jaffa Street in the city center to Sanhadaria, featuring three underground stations out of a total of 53 stations along the route. Additionally, a new light rail garage (depot) will be constructed in the Malha neighborhood to house a fleet of 66 new trains manufactured by the Polish PESA.
Much like the successful Red Line in Jerusalem, which has been operational for over a decade, the Blue Line aims to reduce private vehicle usage, promote public transportation, and enhance the city's environmental quality and urban space.
To minimize disruptions to city residents and businesses during construction, the state and Jerusalem municipality have already initiated extensive preparatory work for track laying through the Moriah company.
With the activation of the Blue Line, Jerusalem's light rail network, including the existing Red Line and the Green Line (J-NET), will form a comprehensive and advanced transportation solution. This transformation promises significant upgrades and improvements to the Jerusalem metropolis, providing residents and visitors with a smart and interconnected transportation system characterized by accessibility, availability, convenience, and reliability.
The project was led by the joint inter-ministerial tender committee for the ministries of finance, transport, and the Jerusalem municipality, in collaboration with the transport master plan team under the leadership of Senior Deputy Accountant General Osheret David-Dekar.
Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, "The transportation transformation in Jerusalem is in full swing, both on the roads leading to it and within the city. The network of light rail lines established these days in Jerusalem will make the transportation system in the city the fastest, most convenient, and most advanced in Israel."
Minister of Transportation Miri Regev emphasized the commitment of the Ministry of Transportation to lead the light rail network in Jerusalem, stating, "Together with the teams at the Ministry of Transportation, we will continue to lead this national project and make Jerusalem a leader in the field of public transportation."
Ofir Karni, CEO of Dan, expressed pride in his company's role, saying, "I am proud that in recent years the Dan company has become the leading public transportation company in the Tel Aviv metropolis... and now the blue line of the light rail in Jerusalem."
Jerusalem is on the brink of a transportation revolution that promises to enhance the lives of its residents and visitors, reduce congestion, and contribute to a cleaner environment. The Blue Line project represents a bold step forward in the city's commitment to sustainable and efficient public transportation.