Plans for the third light rail line in Jerusalem have been approved by the city’s planning committee. The approval came on Wednesday for the new “blue” line which will run from Gilo to Ramot bisecting the city center on its path.
The line will be broken into two segments. The first will begin in the Gilo neighborhood in the south of Jerusalem, pass through the city center and continue up to the Ramot neighborhoods in the north of the city. An adjoining blue line will start at Malha Mall, pass through Emek Refaim street and continue to the First Station, where it will join with the longer blue line.
The plan now is set to move on to obtain approval from the regional committee. A green line is pending approval by the regional committee having already been approved by the city council.
The routes of the blue line have been prepared over the past years in accordance with requests from the Ministry of Transportation and the City Council.
The green line which is in the final stages of receiving approval from the regional committee is set to run from Mount Scopus campus to the Central Bus Station and then continues on to the new Arena stadium before ending off in Gilo as well.
The currently operational red line is in the process of being expanded from its current culmination point at Har Herzl and will continue to the Ein Kerem branch of Hadassah Hospital.
The planned route of the blue line will travel along Derech Hevron, pass the Khan theater, travel up Keren Hayesod and King George streets, and intersect with the current red line, before it enters into a 1.2 kilometer long tunnel that will exit on Golda Meir Boulevard just beyond Bar Ilan intersection. From there it will continue on to the Ramot neighborhood in the northern part of the city.
The plans include building three stops in the tunnel which will serve residents from the nearby neighborhoods on the streets of Strauss, Yehezkel and Shmuel Hanavi.
When the train splits in the German Colony near the First station there will be alternating trains that travel along the line which will travel to Derech Hevron or alternatively to Malha Mall via Emek Refaim. Trains will be running at a frequency of every 3-4 minutes during rush hour.
The blue line is aimed at completing a network by intersecting with the green line at Malha and Gilo and with the red line in the center of the city. It is hoped that the completed light-rail network will serve some 600,000 residents of the city.