The first line of the light rail in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area set off: In a ceremony held today (Thursday) at the Operations Center of the railway, the "DanKal" red line was launched, connecting between Bat Yam and Petah Tikva. It is expected to pass through the cities Bat Yam, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, and Petah Tikva, with its first journey departing tomorrow (Friday) from Petah Tikva at 5:40 AM.
The length of the line is 24 kilometers, with 12 kilometers running underground. The line comprises 34 stations, including 10 underground stations and 24 street-level stations. The distance between the above-ground stations is approximately 500 meters, and between the underground stations, it's about a kilometer. The Red Line is expected to transport around 80 million passengers annually. The Red Line is operated and managed by the Tevel Metro company, which employs about 350 workers, including drivers, operational and maintenance personnel, and control center staff. All of them are committed to providing passengers with a comfortable, accessible, and safe travel experience.
Mirie Regev criticized Huldai: "A mayor who didn't attend due to petty politics"
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech: "Those who support us and those who oppose us – everyone will use this train. Today is a festive day for Israel. We are fulfilling Israel's transportation vision today – we promised, and we are delivering. We promised to connect between cities and within cities, and between countries – and we are accomplishing all three things."
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Miri Regev also addressed the gathering: "This is a historic day, and it's so symbolic that today we are inaugurating a line whose essence is 'connection.' Particularly in days of division and polarization, the new line teaches us to unite and bridge the differences – between the residents of Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv, between the old neighborhoods of Bat Yam and the new business towers of Ramat Gan, between the established neighborhoods of Givatayim and the young nuclei in Petah Tikva. The Red Line encompasses all shades that will contribute to the quality of life for millions of citizens."
Regev took a dig at Ron Huldai, who boycotted the ceremony. "I invited all the heads of municipalities, I'm glad everyone came, but one didn't come due to petty politics."
Ministry of Transportation Director-General Moshe Ben-Zaken: "This is a festive day for all residents of the Gush Dan Metropolitan Area and for all citizens of Israel, and with the help of God, we will celebrate many more such occasions with the inauguration of the upcoming lines in the public transportation network that will cover the entire Gush Dan area from north to south and from east to west. We are entering a period of operation for the train."
Earlier today, leaders of the left-wing protest movement turned to the police and the Supreme Court in order to prevent the blocking of dozens of roads in Tel Aviv due to the arrival of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife for a visit to the light rail station, which opens to the public this week. Ironically, the leaders of the left-wing protests, who in recent months have blocked major thoroughfares across the country, appealed to the police to cancel the roadblocks intended for the security of the prime minister, claiming a violation of "freedom of movement."
As a reminder, the establishment of the Red Line has taken about eight years, since the demolition of the Maariv Bridge in 2015. The opening of the Red Line marks the first stage of the mass transit network that will cover all parts of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. This network will include the Green Line and the Purple Line, currently under construction, along with the metro lines and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network.