Cable car tourism project improves access to Western Wall

A new cable car project will significantly improve transportation to the Old City of Jerusalem, making the holy sites more accessible to tourists and visitors.

At a festive cabinet meeting held Sunday at the Western Wall in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, the government approved the recommendation of Tourism Minister Yariv Levin to construct a cable car tourism project linking the Western Wall with Jerusalem’s Ottoman-era train station, today an entertainment complex called the First Station.

In the first phase of the project, which is being led by the Tourism Ministry and Jerusalem Development Authority, stops will link David Remez Square, Abu Tor, Mount Zion and the Dung Gate. The initial budget of NIS 15 million (just over $4 million US) will come from the ministry, and the total estimated cost of the project will stand at about NIS 200 million (about $56 million).

Future extensions, if built, will continue the cable car to the Garden of Gethsemane and the the Mount of Olives.

Approval of the cable car was “an important decision that will change the face of the city and significantly upgrade the tourist experience,” Levin stated.

“The future cable car will change the face of Jerusalem, allow easy and convenient access for tourists and visitors to the Western Wall and will serve as an exceptional tourist attraction. There is no more appropriate and exciting time than this –  50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem – to launch this revolutionary project,” he said.

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The cable car will offer a transportation solution to problems related to the inaccessibility of the Western Wall. Access is currently via narrow, winding and very crowded routes. The car will provide easy, quick and convenient access to the approximately 130,000 tourists and visitors who converge on the site every week.

The route of the cable car will be extend 1.4 kilometers, carrying up to 40 cars with up to 10 passengers in each. The cable car can serve about 3000 visitors an hour in each direction and will travel at speeds of up to 21 kilometers an hour. According to professional estimates, the cable car will begin operating during 2021.

By: Gil Zohar, World Israel News

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