The National Planning Commission has approved a request by the Ministry of Transport and NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. to split the plan for construction of the M1 Metro line, so that it will end near the Glilot Interchange in Ramat Hasharon. The section to the north will be put forward in the future in a separate plan, due to objections by the Ra’anana and Kfar Saba municipalities about the proposed route of the line and a planned depot.
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The Ministry of Transport insists that the northern section has not been cancelled but will be approved at a later stage. The ministry denies that the reason is opposition from the municipalities, which even persuaded MKs, mainly from Yesh Atid, to join their protests.
The Ra’anana Municipality is protesting that the line runs close to some of its more salubrious neighborhoods and is lobbying for the line to be rerouted to the area around the Loewenstein Hospital. The Kfar Saba Municipality strenuously opposes building the depot near the Kfar Saba Hayaroka neighborhood. The Hod Hasharon Municipality also has objections about the route and had proposed alternatives.
This is not the first time that the municipalities in the Sharon region have thwarted public transport projects. Ra’anana Mayor Chaim Broyde has persistently opposed bus lanes in the Ahuza Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, even though it means buses continue to crawl along the congested street. A decade ago, the bus rapid transport Pink Line was scrapped after objections from Ra’anana and Kfar Saba and replaced by the Metro.
The Mayors of Ra’anana and Kfar Saba wrote to Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli, “All of us support the Metro project and see great importance in it, but it must take into account the components of the municipal plan and the needs of the residents in our cities.”
The M1 line is the longest of the three planned Metro lines. The line will extend over 85 kilometers with 65 stations. Two branch lines in the south will connect Rehovot/Ness Ziona and Lod/Beer Yaakov with Rishon Lezion, Holon, central Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon and Herzliya with branch lines to Kfar Saba and Ra’anana in the north. But in the first stage the line will end in Glilot in Ramat Hasharon.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 2, 2022.
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