Monday , March 1 2021

In the works: Jerusalem Wagon to transport tourists to the Old Town



The old city of Jerusalem can be a beautiful place to visit, but anyone who tried to get there with ease was unlikely to be miserable. And this is because most people do not really have a comfortable way to reach the area without having to walk or spending a private cabin.

Add Middle Eastern heat to summer or crowds or both, and you're looking for a rather miserable experience. That is precisely what we hope is that the municipality of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Development Authority, as well as many residents and tourists, want to change. With the growing number of tourists and more to expect in coming years, Jerusalem is simply unable to process large numbers of tourists, and the Old Town needs a plan. This plan is to create a cable car starting in the First Station complex just outside the walls of the Old Town and ending directly at the gate closest to the Western Wall and Temple.

A record number of tourists – 3.6 million – visited Israel in 2017. October 2018 was still the best tourist month. According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics in Israel, approximately 486,000 entries were recorded in October, a monthly entry for incoming tourism. 2018 is followed by 4 million tourists.

The wagon is expected to roll the Hinom Valley, reaching the Zion Gate and then the Dung Gate. Some activists have argued that a wagon is destroying the landscape of the ancient city and should not go through the Gey Ben Hinom National Park. They also say that the Elad Group – a company that manages David's archaeological site – will benefit financially from the wagon as the terminal will be built on its property. At the same time, Arab residents in eastern Jerusalem complained that they had not consulted in the planning process and claimed that this construction would lead the population mainly to Silvan.

Doron Spielman, vice president of David Foundation, dismisses these allegations. He told the JNS that "the planned wagon project is the initiative of the Jerusalem Municipality and several Israeli government ministries. The city of David welcomes all the projects that increase access to millions of visitors each year – from all faiths and experiences, seeking to communicate with the historical significance of ancient Jerusalem, including places throughout the city of Old Town and in the city of David. "

A recent cable wagon project was submitted to the National Infrastructure Committee, which in turn approved the plan to build a wagon. Following the approval of the committee, the plan moves to a stage where comments and objections from district committees and the public are welcomed. The National Infrastructure Committee is made up of government representatives, government representatives and local government representatives who have discussed this issue.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said: "We have made another major step towards approval of the cable car project in Jerusalem. We are managing and designing a budget that will change the face of Jerusalem, providing convenient and convenient access to the tourists and visitors to the Western Wall. The wagon serves as an exceptional and important attraction of tourists. "

According to the Ministry of Tourism, "the wagon is intended to eliminate the problem of congestion and accessibility in the south-eastern part of the Old Town, given the significant increase in tourist traffic to Israel in the last two years. The wagon will be part of the city's public transport system and will make available public space, international and tourism. "

The minister said that the wagon system will be able to service 3000 passengers in each direction in the longest possible time and will be connected to the mass transit system planned for Jerusalem. The wagon provides a unique transport solution in the area with topographical constraints, limited road infrastructure capacity and historic and archaeological sites. Unlike other methods, this vehicle does not require significant land surface, nor does it need to build or extend the road.

It is also a "green project" with minimal environmental damage, quiet technology and zero pollution.

"High importance in the project"

In May, the government approved the draft law proposed by Levin to give the Ministry of Tourism a NIS of 200 million euros for the construction of wagons. The project will be implemented by the Jerusalem Development Authority.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism, the wagon project "is a major milestone in promoting Jerusalem and strengthening its status of world tourism capital in order to significantly increase incoming tourism in the country and strengthen the economy. A wagon, which will also be unique attraction of tourists with views of Upper Jerusalem and its unique locations. , will also help to consolidate and develop the city's night-time tourism product …

On the weekend, three monotheistic religions, between tens and hundreds of thousands of people, visit the Old Town. In most of today's non-resident parts of the Old Town, access to vehicles is prohibited, so the carriage of wagons is defined as important in Jerusalem. tourism project. "

Ilanit Melkjer, Director of the Development Department of Jerusalem, told JNS that "the project is moving forward. We are building a cable car."


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