Transport in Jerusalem

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Transport in Jerusalem is characterized by a well-developed inter-city network and an emerging, developing intra-city network. Ben Gurion International Airport serves as Jerusalem's closest international airport. Egged bus lines and Israel Railways connect the city of Jerusalem to much of the rest of the country, and a high-speed rail line to the airport and Tel Aviv is currently under construction. Within the city, the roads, rather than the rails, are the primary mode of transportation.

Roads[edit]

Begin Highway (Highway 50) is the western inner city expressway in Jerusalem. It runs north to south from Atarot to Manahat (Malha), and is being extended to link further south into Highway 60 to Gush Etzion. The northern end of the highway is fed by Highway 443 from Tel Aviv and Modiin. The Atarot-Talpiot route (Highway 60) is the main route which traverses the center of the city; and Herzl Boulevard, which begins at the northern entrance of the city and continues south via Mount Herzl and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. It then merges into additional routes that lead to the southwestern quarters. The Golomb-Herzog-Ben-Zvi route also links the southern quarters with the city center.

Running east through the city center, Jaffa Road connects the Jaffa Gate of the Old City as well as the central-eastern neighbourhoods and the northwestern city entrance to Highway 1. Highway 1 bypasses the city-centre to the north as Yigael Yadin Boulevard, and links Ma'ale Adummim to Begin Highway near Ramot.

Construction is progressing on parts of a 35-kilometer (22-mi) ring road around the city, fostering faster connection between the suburbs and the city center.[1][2] The eastern half of the project was conceptualized decades ago, but reaction to the proposed highway is still mixed.[1]

Buses[edit]

Route 99 tourist bus

Jerusalem Central Bus Station is Jerusalem's intercity bus station. The city is served mainly by Egged buses, though as of 2009, a number of other companies are providing an increasing number of bus lines to and from the city also; as of 2009, Dan and Superbus also use the Central Bus Station. City buses in the Jewish and Israeli areas are run by Egged, which runs close to 100 bus lines throughout the city and its suburbs. A map of the various lines may be accessed on MobileMe[3]

Two joint Egged - Dan bus lines serve the Bnei Brak - Jerusalem route, while Superbus and Veolia serve Modi'in Illit and Modi'in respectively. As of December 2008, Superbus also provides all bus routes in the Jerusalem corridor, between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. The Illit company provides bus lines to Beitar Illit.

In cooperation with City Tour and the Jerusalem Municipality, Egged operates Bus 99 a special double decked open-air bus line that passes through all central tourist attractions in Jerusalem. Using the same daily ticket the passengers can get off the bus at any of 27 bus stops any time during operation of the route. The full tour lasts for about two hours. Recorded explanations, broadcast through the bus are available in eight different languages.[4]

Arab-run buses serve the city's Arab neighborhoods as well as Palestinian towns in the West Bank and Israeli Arab towns. This system is based out of the East Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sultan Suleiman Street, though buses also leave from outside the Damascus Gate of the Old City.

The Egged and the Palestinian city bus networks are almost completely separated. There are only a handful of bus stops that both companies serve. Arab residents of Jerusalem do use Egged buses frequently, but Jewish residents rarely use the Arab buses, in part because while Arabs do regularly visit the Israeli center of town, Jews do not frequently come to the Arab parts of the city.[citation needed]

Trains[edit]

Jerusalem train

Israel Railways operates train service to southern Jerusalem with 2 stops: Jerusalem Malha near the Malha Mall and the Biblical Zoo. The rail line, which first opened in 1892, was out of use for seven years because of deteriorating conditions and was restored on April 9, 2005. Jerusalem Malha is a new station which replaces the historical Khan Station at Remez Square near the Old City. The train ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem takes about 140 minutes.

A new high-speed rail link is under construction which will run from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem via Ben Gurion Airport and terminate at a new underground station—Binyanei HaUmah, located between the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and the International Convention Center. The new rail link will open by 2018, with an expected transit time from Tel Aviv of about 30 minutes.

Light rail[edit]

The first line of the Jerusalem Light Rail network was completed in 2010 with the erection of Santiago Calatrava's Chords Bridge over Jaffa Road. The first line is at the height of its construction and is slated to begin operating from Pisgat Ze'ev in the northeast, through French Hill and Jaffa Road to the Central Bus Station and the southwestern neighborhoods early in 2010.[5] The date of the opening of the line has had delays. The beginning of public operation is now scheduled for 19 August 2011, with 14 trains and a maximum headway of 12 minutes. Unusually for a city with a population of over 700,000, Jerusalem never had a previous first generation tramway network, although, before the war, one was proposed but was canceled for political reasons.[clarification needed]

Airports[edit]

Atarot Airport was Jerusalem's airport, but was closed to civilian traffic in 2000 due to security concerns arising from the Al-Aqsa Intifada,[6] and was later placed under IDF control during 2001.[7] But Ben Gurion International Airport, 40 km (24 Mi) northwest of the city, serves as the primary international air transport hub for both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As the largest of the nation's four international airports (the others located in Haifa, Eilat and Ovda, though the former two are unable to handle the largest aircraft), Ben Gurion is Israel's busiest airport, serving 13 million passengers annually.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Burstein, Nathan (19 January 2006). "Running Rings Around Us". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  2. ^ Gil Zohar (May 31, 2007). "Their way or the highway?". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 11 June 2007. 
  3. ^ http://web.me.com/jerubus/English_Site/Jerusalem_Bus_Map_files/English_New_2.pdf
  4. ^ Bus Travel in Jerusalem
  5. ^ Jerusalem Light Rail — Mass Transit System (PDF)
  6. ^ An Intifada Casualty Named Atarot Larry Derfner, The Jewish Journal, 23 March 2001
  7. ^ Jerusalem's Atarot Airport handed over to the IDF Zohar Blumenkrant, Ha'aretz, 27 July 2001
  8. ^ Smith, Patrick (9 June 2006). "Ask the Pilot". Salon. Retrieved 14 March 2007.