Israel National News
The housing cabinet, led by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, on Monday approved the cable car project for the Old City of Jerusalem.
The program offers a solution to the problem of accessibility to the southeastern basin of the Old City (the Western Wall Plaza, the Dung Gate, the City of David) and will cater to travelers, residents and tourists.
Estimates of visitors to the Old City and its surrounding area SHOW an average of 135,000 visitors a week, of which about 24,000 are tourists, an estimate that grows every year. The proposed cable car system provides capacity for about 3,000 passengers per hour, in carriages of 10 passengers traveling in both directions. A single ride would last about 4.5 minutes.
The main purpose of implementing the cable car project for the Western Wall area and the southern basin service of the Old City is to enable improved access to the Old City and, as a result, significantly ease the intolerable traffic congestion that exists today, especially during Jewish holidays.
The cable car is part of a comprehensive set of integrated solutions that will reduce traffic in the area.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said: “The Western Wall today is not accessible to the general public. We have been waiting for the Western Wall for two thousand years, and because of the many traffic jams, some of us are prevented from going to the Wall to pray, travel and participate in military and national ceremonies.”
“The cable car will serve the Western Wall and those masses who want to reach the Wall today and simply cannot. This is a national project that goes beyond transport and tourism infrastructure, but a social project that will serve the Western Wall to anyone who only wants to reach,” Kahlon said.
Environment, Jerusalem and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin added, “I am pleased that today we have been able to go through another important step in advancing the cable car plan for the Old City. This is a strategic project to promote tourism in the Old City basin of Jerusalem, and step by step we are turning a vision into a new reality, and soon the road to the Western Wall And other important sites in ancient Jerusalem will be more accessible.”