Jerusalem trains could have segregated cars

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The head of the company developing Jerusalem’s light rail system said there could be gender-segregated cars on the trains.

The men- or women-only cars would be to accommodate Jerusalem’s Haredi Orthodox community.

"The train was built to serve everyone," CityPass CEO Yair Naveh said during a news conference Monday. "I think it is required to create alternatives for everyone, and that option exists because of the train’s division into cars. It is not a problem to declare every third or fourth car a mehadrin [kosher] car."

Naveh’s declaration raised the hackles of officials in the transportation industry and in the Jerusalem municipality, as well as among opponents of segregated public transportation.

"Naveh was appointed to run a project – that doesn’t mean that he can tell people where to sit and where not to sit, nor does it mean that he knows anything about values and democracy," said Jerusalem city council member Rachel Azariya, who opposes the gender-separated bus lines currently running in the city.

The train is scheduled to begin operation in April 2011.

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