JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
Construction of a subway system aimed at easing growing traffic congestion in the Tel Aviv area has begun.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Transport Minister Yitzhak Levy and Tel Aviv Mayor Ronni Milo were among the officials attending Sunday’s ground-breaking ceremony.
“Unless we have something like this, Israelis will pay a high price in terms of time and traffic,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony.
The project is in its initial stages, with four plans for subway lines in the greater Tel Aviv area still under consideration.
The subway is expected to cost some $2-3 billion and taken close to 10 years to complete.
Milo said he believed the first line could be up and running in five years.
“In the meantime, we still face a big problem” with traffic, he told Israel Radio. “According to our projections, by the year 2005, we expect being in a traffic jam all over central Israel.”
Israel’s only existing subway is the Carmelit, in Haifa.
It has one line that connects the lower and upper parts of the city.