According to plan, in another 8 weeks CityPass will upgrade the service on the light rail and the implementation of the southwestern stage of the new transportation system will begin: 22 new, short bus routes and greater accessibility to points inside the neighborhoods; more frequent buses connections to the light rail stops on Herzl Blvd.; a uniform ticket price to anywhere in the city; 90 minutes of free transfers between all the lines. All this will gradually bring the new transportation system in the city up to full speed.
The Transportation Ministry, Jerusalem municipality and Tochnit-Av Jerusalem Transportation team have completed their plans that the implementation of the southwestern stage —an integrated Jerusalem transportation system comprised of the Light Rail and 22 direct feeder buses in all the neighborhoods from Kiryat Menachem to Kiryat Moshe. While this stage is slated to take place in about 8 weeks, the Transportation Ministry made it conditional on CityPass's success in improving the Light Rail’s level of service and increasing its frequency to once every ten minutes.
This information was submitted in a special press conference held in anticipation of the new transportation system in the city.
According to the plan, over the next few weeks, CityPass will make every effort to accomplish the following: solve technical problems that have arisen; complete the installation of additional traffic lights; increase the Light Rail’s frequency and maintain uninterrupted service. Although it will take time to complete the necessary changes, service should improve thanks to the transition to integrated Light Rail and direct-feeder neighborhood bus lines. This way, the big changes in the new Jerusalem transportation system will be implemented gradually, in stages, just as the construction was done in stages.
Thus, 22 bus lines serving passengers in 17 neighborhoods, from Kiryat Menahem to Kiryat Moshe will be upgraded and improved during the "Herzl stage". Some of the bus lines will become neighborhood feeder lines, transporting passengers between neighborhoods; these will also go to the Light Rail and express bus lines. Bus-line routes will be shortened; buses will run more frequently and provide access to Light Rail stops on the Herzl route. In addition, these lines will offer more efficient, focused service to popular public destinations within neighborhoods such as health clinics, schools, shopping centers, community centers and more. It should be noted that the timing of the Herzl stage depends on the improved service and frequency of the Light Rail to every 10 minutes.
Transportation Minister Mr. Yisrael Katz has determined that the price of travel within Jerusalem from one point to another will remain uniform and subsidized at 6.40 NIS. In addition, Katz has ordered the extension of the period for free transfers between bus lines and the Light Rail via the Rav-Kav card to 90 minutes. Over 400 thousand residents of Jerusalem and its environs have already been issued Rav-Kav cards.
“Jerusalem is in the last stage of establishing the biggest transportation system ever built for the city,” said Nadav Meroz, the Tochnit-Av Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan Team CEO. “The light rail has been built, most of the rapid transit lines are operating, the park and ride car parks have been opened to the public, new bus stops and electronic information signs are now being placed along the rapid transit routes, the information center is operating, the new website is finished and all that remains is to connect all the parts of the puzzle into one integrated smart picture. In keeping with the mayor's instructions, the interests of Jerusalem's residents were the most important element in our decisions, which will be implemented such that the new public transportation service will only improve the entire transportation system. Finally everything in Jerusalem will be connected,” he concluded, “thanks to the excellent cooperation between the municipality and the Ministry of Transportation.”
“The work of planning the entire system of public transportation lines in Jerusalem, which took five years, is now being implemented,” said Dror Ganon, the deputy director-general for public transport at the Transportation Ministry. “In the next few months 42 routes in the city will be improved and coordinated. All six of the rapid transit lines, and of course the light rail, will start operating” he added. “This is a very important step for the city of Jerusalem and the whole metropolitan area - and we will introduce it gradually, with emphasis on preparing and advising the public about the change.” Ganon noted that the transport minister's directive that the price of a ticket in Jerusalem be only NIS 6.40 and that all the public transportation discounts also be applied to the light rail are a dramatic improvement.
Public relations and instructing the public:
In the weeks leading up to and following the “Herzl stage,” residents of the Jerusalem's southwestern neighborhoods of the city will be exposed to a comprehensive public relations campaign to explain the significance of the expected route changes in the area. The lessons learned from the recent reorganization of public transportation in the Dan region will be applied here, and the campaign will include personnel at information and public relations booths at main points in the city and in the neighborhoods, leaflets mailed directly to all residents, notices in local newspapers, information sheets in buses, banners at bus stops, an information center that will initiate phone calls to explain the system to elderly residents, and more.
All of the information is also readily available at the public transportation information center “Kol Kav" *8787 and on the new Tochnit-Av Jerusalem Transportation website at www.jet.org.il.
The next stage: Full operation
Two months or so after the implementation of the “Herzl stage,” after the public and the system have had time to get used to the change, the Ministry of Transportation is expected to complete the implementation of the new transportation system in Jerusalem and the metropolitan area. This will include: the full operation of all the Light Rail trains; increasing the frequency of the Light Rail to every 6 minutes; installing all the smart traffic lights in the city; operating all 6 rapid transit bus lines, reorganizing the rest of Jerusalem's bus lines; updating the information on al 1,600 bus stops throughout the city (this will be done on the Herzl route immediately after Sukkot); installing maps of the lines and maps of the area in all the stops; the full operation of the ticketing system; operating the public information center and the “Maslulan” route planning software and of course a widespread public relations campaign among the public, in all the media.
Date Published:: 04.10.11