Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first ride on the new Jerusalem Tram


Jerusalem has its new tram and for the next upcoming ten days, anyone may get on for free. I went on my first two rides yesterday and have to admit that I was impressed. After years of contruction work and wasting millions of Shekels, the tram is turning Jerusalem into a modern era. I saw happy and proud people getting onto the tram. No matter if Jews, Palestinians, tourists or Haredim, each one of them was excited. I have never seen Jerusalem so advanced and peaceful despite yesterday's terror alert. 

It is the time of summer vacations and entire families got on the tram in order to enjoy the new attraction. Even Jaffa Road has changed its face and looked more international. Street cafes and people are able to sit outside everywhere. Without traffic, noise and pollution smell.

I really enjoyed my tram rides although it was packed. As soon as something is free of charge, people are there. :-) The Municipality employed security guards for the tram. Furthermore, lots of youth are helping the customers with information. What the Jerusalemites still have to learn is not to run around on the tracks. The constant "Mind the Gap !" warning from London's underground is missing in Jerusalem. :-)

I asked one of the information people for the ticket price after the free of charge period but she didn't know the answer. A former working colleague of mine seemed to know the answer: 6,90 Shekels for a ride.

And how is the new tram ? I loved it. The trains are sliding around quietly. No noise but it does waste a long time at stops and traffic lights. Or in other words: It is not that fast yet.

And here comes the tram rolling.

At Jerusalem's Central Bus Station

Chic and new: Inside the tram. An electronic board shows the stops in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Have a look how Jaffa Road is finally changing.

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

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