Forty-two new bus lines are to be opened in Yerushalayim, as the city has issued a tender for the operation of 80 lines. The new lines, which are part of the tender, will begin operating by 2020, city officials said.
Many of the new lines will connect points in the city that today require passengers to change buses. One route, for example, will connect the East Talpiot neighborhood with the First Station, Katamon, Shaare Zedek, and Givat Shaul; another line will connect Givat Shaul, the Government Quarter, City Center and Mamilla. New lines will connect currently under-served peripheral areas, such as Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Yaakov and Ramat Shlomo to the city center. In addition, a new bus line will transport passengers directly from the light rail station near City Hall to the Kosel.
A total of 810 new buses will be deployed in the city, 200 of them electric, while the rest will be low-emission vehicles. Of the 80 lines up for bid, 60 percent will be awarded to operators other than Egged. The company has been the sole public transportation provider in Yerushalayim until now. The new buses will be state-of-the-art, with electronic data providing full information on location, schedules and times. In addition, the new buses will feature a partition for drivers, to enhance their protection. And bus service on all lines will be extended to 2:30 a.m.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed the plan, calling it an important step in providing public transportation solutions. “Improving public transportation is one of my most important objectives, a project I have been working on since I took office,” Katz said. “This is a national goal that will bridge the gaps between groups and lower the cost of living for all Israelis.”