|Dankal Tel Aviv Light Rail|
|Area served||Tel Aviv metropolitan area|
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||3 (Red Line, Green Line, Purple Line)|
|Number of stations||34 (Red Line), 58 (Green Line), 43 (Purple Line)|
|Began operation||August 18, 2023|
|Rolling stock||CRRC (Red Line), Alstom Citadis XO5 (Green Line), CAF Urbos 3 (Purple Line)|
|Top speed||80 km/h (50 mph) in underground sections|
The Tel Aviv Light Rail (Hebrew: הרכבת הקלה בתל אביב), also known as Dankal (Hebrew: דנקל) is a mass transit system for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in central Israel. The system will include different modes of mass transit, including rapid transit (metro), light rail transit (LRT), and bus rapid transit (BRT). Overseen by the government agency NTA, the project will complement the intercity and suburban rail network operated by Israel Railways.
As of 2023, two LRT lines are under construction and one available to the public. Work on the Red Line, the first in the project, started on September 21, 2011, following years of preparatory works, and was opened on August 18, 2023 after numerous delays. Construction of the Purple Line started in December 2018; work on the Green Line began in January 2019.
The network was originally planned to be called "MetroTLV" but was changed to "Dankal".
The first proposals for a tramway in the area were made by the Lebanese engineer George Franjieh in November 1892, about nine weeks after the inauguration of the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway. The plan called for a main line between southern and northeastern Jaffa, with spurs to the harbor and the eastern orchards. The plan was considered uneconomical and was shelved. A later plan called for a light railway from Jaffa to the nearby settlements of Rishon LeZion, Petah Tikva and Wilhelma.
Revised plan: Light Rail
In 2000, the plan for a subway was changed to one for light rail, and more plausible plans for a mass transit system in Tel Aviv were unveiled. After the first Red Line spanning 22 kilometres (14 mi) was approved, excavation began in late 2009, with construction of the underground stations starting in August 2015. The Red Line became operational on August 18, 2023.
In December 2006, the MTS group was awarded a BOT contract for the Red Line of the light rail, by which they are to build and operate the line for its first 32 years. MTS consisted of Africa Israel, Siemens of Germany, the Egged, Chinese infrastructure company China Civil Engineering Construction, the Portuguese infrastructure firm Soares da Costa, and the leading Dutch transportation company HTM. After many years of delays due to MTS financing issues, in December 2010 the government revoked MTS's concession and nationalized the project, putting it under the authority of NTA, the government agency which was in charge of overseeing the overall development of the rapid transit system in the Tel Aviv metro area.
Construction on the Red Line began in August 2015. It opened on August 18, 2023. The preparations for the construction of the Green Line started on February 5, 2017, on Ibn Gabirol Street in Tel Aviv. Infrastructure works for the Purple Line began in December 2018.
|Primary line||Color||Service bullets|
Red Line is in service; Green and Purple lines are under construction. When complete, they will cover a network of 85 kilometres (53 mi).
|Line||Length||No. of stations||Status||Opening||Passenger
|Red Line||24 km (15 mi)
(12 km (7.5 mi) underground)
|34 (10 underground)||In service||August 18, 2023||240,000 daily
|Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam||CRRC Changchun LRV|
|Green Line||39 km (24 mi)
(4.5 km (2.8 mi) underground)
|62 (4 underground)||Under construction||2028 est.||180,000 daily
|Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Holon, Rishon LeZion||Alstom Citadis|
|Purple Line||27 km (17 mi)||43||Under construction||2026 est.||180,000 daily
|Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Kiryat Ono, Giv'at Shmuel, Or Yehuda, Yehud||CAF Urbos|
12 km (7.5 mi) of the 24 kilometres (15 mi) Red Line was built underground, with the remaining overground segment constructed as a light rail/tram. It has 34 stops, 10 of which are underground, with an average distance of about 1000 meters between underground stops and of about 500 metres between overground stops. The line runs from Bat Yam in the southwest, through Jaffa and central Tel Aviv, including at Tel Aviv Savidor Central railway station, and carries on to Petah Tikva, through Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak. An extension to Rishon LeZion is planned. It has been forecast that by 70 million passengers would be using this line annually.
Stations (underground in italics): HaKomemiyut, He'Amal, Kaf Tet BeNovember, Yoseftal, Binyamin, Balfour, Jabotinsky, Rothschild, Ha'Atsma'ut, Mahrozet, HaBesht, Isakov, Ehrlich, Bloomfield Stadium, Shalma (Salame), Elifelet, Allenby, Carlebach, Yehudit, Sha'ul HaMelekh, Arlosoroff, Abba Hillel, Bialik, Ben-Gurion, Aharonovich. From Aharonovich, one branch continues to Shenkar, Shaham, Beilinson, Dankner, Krol, Pinsker, Petah Tikva Central Bus Station (Terminal); another continues to Em HaMoshavot Bridge and Kiryat Arye.
The work on Allenby station began on February 8, 2015.
In May 2021, a test run of the red line began in Petah Tikva.
The second or Green Line, in the tender phase, is a 39 kilometres (24 mi) with 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) of them underground. It will have 62 stops that would run from the west of Rishon LeZion northwards through Holon through central Tel Aviv splitting into two branches: one to Herzliya in the north and the other one to Ramat HaHayal neighborhood in Tel Aviv in the northeast. Only its central Tel Aviv segment, four of the 62 stations, will be underground, from Levinski Street through Ibn Gabirol Street until the Yarkon River. The expected annual passenger forecast is 65 million. NTA is including the design and boring of the Green Line's tunnels as part of Red Line's tunnels overall contract so that work on the Green Line's underground portion can commence immediately following the completion of the Red Line tunnels. The preparations for the construction of this line begun in February 2017 in Ibn Gabirol street in Tel Aviv.
The third, or Purple Line, is envisaged as a 27 kilometres (17 mi) line with 43 stops and will connect Sheba Hospital through Giv'at Shmuel and Kiryat Ono, and will connect Arlozorov in Tel Aviv to Yehud and Or Yehuda through Ramat Gan. This line will be over-ground for its entire route.
This line would have begun in Kfar Saba then continued on to Hod Hasharon, Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon on Sokolov Street, before joining Ben-Gurion Street in Ramat Gan, then Yitzhak Rabin Street in Givataim, then Moshe Dayan Street in Tel Aviv, Mikveh Israel, it would end in Holon after crossing Ariel Sharon Park. Parts of it were superseded by the M1 metro line.
Other mass transit systems
The rapid transit plan for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, conceived and approved in 2016, called for three underground metro lines, centered on Tel Aviv: a north–south line (M1), an east–west line (M2), and a circular line (M3). The lines are currently undergoing an individual approval process.
|Line||Length||No. of stations||Status||Opening||Primary
|M1||85 km (53 mi)||62||Planned||NET 2032||Tel Aviv, Lod, Ramle, Be'er Ya'akov, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Rishon LeZion, Holon, Ramat HaSharon, Herzliya, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon, Kfar Sava|
|M2||26 km (16 mi)||22||Approved||NET 2032||Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Giv'atayim, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva||Holon Wolfson Railway Station|
|M3||39 km (24 mi)||25||Approved||NET 2032||Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Or Yehuda, Azor, Holon, Bat Yam||Herzliya Pituah|
Bus rapid transit
Most BRT lines planned for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area were cancelled in 2016 and replaced with metro lines. Only plans for the Brown Line were retained, however, no date for start of construction has been announced.
|Line||Length||No. of stations||Status||Opening||Primary
|Brown Line||28 km (17 mi)||Unknown||Planned||–||Rishon LeZion, Be'er Ya'akov, Ramle, Lod||Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station|
Lod Ganei Aviv Railway Station
|Blue Line||21 km (13 mi)||44||Planned||2027 or 2028||Rehovot, Ness Ziona, Rishon LeZion, Azor, Holon||Bilu Junction|
The Brown Line is a planned BRT line that will serve the southern metropolitan area. Starting at Moshe Dayan Railway Station in western Rishon LeZion, it will continue east via central Rishon LeZion, bypassing Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center, until Ramle, where it splits into two branches: one continues to Lod in the northeast and the second continues to eastern Ramle in the east. There is a possibility of making it a light rail line eventually.
The Blue Line is the first BRT line not to pass via Tel Aviv. The line will begin in Bilu Junction near Rehovot and continues to HaRishonim Railway Station in Rishon LeZion via Ness Ziona and will end at the Holon junction. This line is expected to open in 2027 or 2028.
The Pink Line was planned to serve the northern metropolitan area, beginning in northeastern Kfar Saba and continuing through its main streets until crossing Highway 4 to Ra'anana, continuing through Ahuza Street until western Ra'anana, and continuing to Herzliya and crossing it until the Marina area, where it would have terminated. This line was superseded by the M1 and M3 metro lines.
The Orange Line would have been the only line isolated from the system. It would serve only the city of Netanya in the northern metropolitan area. It would be a circular line that connects both sides of the city, crossing Highway 2.
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