Friday, August 19, 2011

The little tram that could

See? Kids posing with Jerusalem's shiny new tram!
Look! Passengers actually boarding!

Today was a truly historic and exciting day as we the public got our first ride!
And for free.
The first two weeks of the running-in period will be free.

CityPass photographers were happily getting lots of stills and videos.
(CityPass is the consortium that won a 30-year concession to build and operate the tram's first line.)
Many of the passengers were entire haredi (ultra-orthodox) families and some of them shielded their face from the cameras.

The sign says "Welcome to Israel's first-ever light rail!"
It promises the tram will give more clean air, more information, more simplicity, and more Jerusalem.
Well, what I needed this morning was more air-conditioning.
Even though I boarded at the first station, the terminus at Mt. Herzl, it was already standing room only and it got very stuffy inside very quickly.
I had planned to go the whole 13.8 km (8.6 mi) route but after just a few blocks I had to escape, into the fresh air.
Hoping the AC issue will be resolved next week.

You can see the bumper to bumper car and bus traffic parallel to the tramway, conveniently reflected for Weekend Reflections meme.
After over a decade of construction, it is great to see the tram actually up and running.
It was fun to blog about the exciting stages of development over the years (see my label "tram").
Wikipedia has the whole story .
Haaretz has an article from today.
After its first day of carrying passengers, the tram takes a rest now for the Friday night to Saturday Sabbath.
Shabbat shalom to you too!



Kim, USA said...

That is also what I like to have here in the US, I hope! Going from one town or another city or state is easy and no more long drive, that will save a lot of fuel too. Great information here. Thanks for sharing!

Weekend Reflection

katney said...

Once the excitement of its newness settles down and the AC is fixed it will be a great tool for you to get around.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Shalom Dina! I thought of you, and your posts on the tram, when I saw it on the Israeli news channel two days ago...they were talking about its upcoming first day of operation and all the problems along the way. Hopefully they'll get the air conditioning running and you can take the entire ride soon....

Nadege said...

That is wonderful and you are so lucky! I know I will make it to Israel one day and what better way to experience Jerusalem and its population using public transportation.

Lew said...

A nice addition to the transportation choices and a great source of reflections!

'Tsuki said...

Belle inauguration... Sympa comme partage !

VP said...

I would really like a ride on that tram, but not when it passes the Calatrava so-called bridge.

LauraX said...

great reflections Dina! Shabbat Shalom:-)

Francisca said...

It's been fun following the story of the tram, Dina... and you must be thrilled the construction phase is now over. A decade... oh dear! And yes, I do imagine with your hear the A/C is a must.

Irina said...

Great addition to transport system. Good that the construction is finished at last.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful ! Always a safe road ahead. Over here, it has become the most used mean of transport, at least for me.
Please have a good start into the weekend.

diane b said...

Wow! That is a great tram/light rail. We desperately need something like that in Brisbane. You should be glad that you are not here in Sydney, we are having rain and gale force winds.

Anonymous said...

The modern tram is nice.It is better than cars because it is ecology and it'not traffic jam.
In Japan there were also good trams in the past.

Suzanne said...

Shabbat Shalom Dina and thanks for the first views of a long awaited event.

Mark said...

Hi Dina. I am a bit of a public transport nut and have followed the saga of the tram for a while. So glad it is finally open and you have blogged about it. Jerusalem enjoy your new tram!

Ann said...

a very futuristic looking lite rail. In Singapore, they had one, but I have not been on one.

Kay said...

This is just so wonderful. We are STILL hammering out details of our rail system for Hawaii. It makes me wonder if it will EVER get off the ground.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Faster than a speeding bullet hey Dina, what a great way to get around, it's a pretty big deal when so,ething new like that reaches completion. Enjoy your first ride.

Karl said...

Very modern tram, I'm sure you all are very happy!

Dianne said...

How wonderful Dina - I'm sure this will be a great mode of transport for the community and how nice to be able to ride free to try it out.

Winchester Daily Photos said...

Trams are great, they take a long time to come into service though

Shirley @ The Gardening Life said...

Good job in catching this reflection!