Tel Aviv Light Rail

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Dankal Tel Aviv Light Rail
Tel Aviv Light Rail-branded Mock-up trainset of the red line standing outside the light rail depot
Tel Aviv Light Rail-branded Mock-up trainset of the red line standing outside the light rail depot
Tel Aviv Light Rail Red Line Rolling Stock out of the CRRC factory in China, June 2019
Tel Aviv Light Rail Red Line Rolling Stock out of the CRRC factory in China, June 2019
Area servedTel Aviv metropolitan area
Transit typeLight rail interchange Light rail
Number of lines3 (Red Line, Green Line, Purple Line)
Number of stations34 (Red Line), 58 (Green Line), 43 (Purple Line)
Daily ridershipRed Line - 100,000[1]
HeadquartersTel Aviv
Began operationAugust 18, 2023
Operator(s)tevel metro
Rolling stockCRRC (Red Line), Alstom Citadis XO5 (Green Line), CAF Urbos 3 (Purple Line)
Top speed80 km/h (50 mph) in underground sections
Map of the planned network as of 2020. The Red Line is in service; the Green and Purple lines are under construction; the rest is subject to change.

The Tel Aviv Light Rail (Hebrew: הרכבת הקלה בתל אביב, Romanized: Ha'rakēvet Ha'kalā Be'Tel Avīv), also known as Dankal (Hebrew: דנקל) is a mass transit system for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in central Israel. The system will include different modes of mass transit, including rapid transit (metro), light rail transit (LRT), and bus rapid transit (BRT). Overseen by the government agency NTA, the project will complement the intercity and suburban rail network operated by Israel Railways.

As of 2023, two LRT lines are under construction and one available to the public. Work on the Red Line, the first in the project, started on September 21, 2011, following years of preparatory works,[2] and was opened on August 18, 2023 after numerous delays.[3][4] Construction of the Purple Line started in December 2018; work on the Green Line began in January 2019.[5]

The network was originally planned to be called "MetroTLV" but was changed to "Dankal".[6]


Tel Aviv Light rail, construction site on Yehuda Halevi Street

The first proposals for a tramway in the area were made by the Lebanese engineer George Franjieh in November 1892, about nine weeks after the inauguration of the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway. The plan called for a main line between southern and northeastern Jaffa, with spurs to the harbor and the eastern orchards. The plan was considered uneconomical and was shelved. A later plan called for a light railway from Jaffa to the nearby settlements of Rishon LeZion, Petah Tikva and Wilhelma.[7]

A Decauville light railway was built in Jaffa and Tel Aviv in World War I, connecting the port with the Yarkon River. It was used for about a decade after the war, and dismantled at a later date.

A light rail line, with a route similar to the current Red Line, was planned in 1921 by Pinhas Rutenberg. An attempt to build the line in 1924-5 was unsuccessful.[8]

A subway system was first planned in the mid-1960s but a station at the Shalom Meir Tower was all that was completed of the project with no rails laid.[9]

Revised plan: Light Rail[edit]

In 2000, the plan for a subway was changed to one for light rail, and more plausible plans for a mass transit system in Tel Aviv were unveiled. After the first Red Line spanning 22 kilometres (14 mi) was approved, excavation began in late 2009, with construction of the underground stations starting in August 2015. The Red Line became operational on August 18, 2023.

In December 2006, the MTS group was awarded a BOT contract for the Red Line of the light rail, by which they are to build and operate the line for its first 32 years. MTS consisted of Africa Israel, Siemens of Germany, the Egged, Chinese infrastructure company China Civil Engineering Construction, the Portuguese infrastructure firm Soares da Costa, and the leading Dutch transportation company HTM.[10] After many years of delays due to MTS financing issues, in December 2010 the government revoked MTS's concession and nationalized the project, putting it under the authority of NTA, the government agency which was in charge of overseeing the overall development of the rapid transit system in the Tel Aviv metro area.[11]

Current status[edit]

Construction on the Red Line began in August 2015.[12][13] It opened on August 18, 2023.[14] The preparations for the construction of the Green Line started on February 5, 2017, on Ibn Gabirol Street in Tel Aviv. Infrastructure works for the Purple Line began in December 2018.[5]


Primary line Color Service bullets
Red Line Red
Green Line Green
Purple Line Purple

Red Line is in service; Green and Purple lines are under construction. When complete, they will cover a network of 85 kilometres (53 mi).

Line Length No. of stations Status Opening Passenger
Terminals Rolling Stock
Red Line[15] 24 km (15 mi)
(12 km (7.5 mi) underground)
34 (10 underground) In service August 18, 2023[16] 240,000 daily
70,000,000 annually
Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam CRRC Changchun LRV
Green Line[17] 39 km (24 mi)
(4.5 km (2.8 mi) underground)
62 (4 underground)[18] Under construction[19] 2028 est.[20] 180,000 daily
65,000,000 annually
Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Holon, Rishon LeZion Alstom Citadis
Purple Line[21] 27 km (17 mi)[21] 43[21] Under construction[5] 2026 est. 180,000 daily
60,000,000 annually
Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Kiryat Ono, Giv'at Shmuel, Or Yehuda, Yehud CAF Urbos

Red Line[edit]

12 km (7.5 mi)[22] of the 24 kilometres (15 mi) Red Line was built underground, with the remaining overground segment constructed as a light rail/tram. It has 34 stops, 10 of which are underground, with an average distance of about 1000 meters between underground stops and of about 500 metres between overground stops. The line runs from Bat Yam in the southwest, through Jaffa and central Tel Aviv, including at Tel Aviv Savidor Central railway station, and carries on to Petah Tikva, through Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak. An extension to Rishon LeZion is planned. It has been forecast that by 70 million passengers would be using this line annually.[6]

Stations (underground in italics): HaKomemiyut, He'Amal, Kaf Tet BeNovember, Yoseftal, Binyamin, Balfour, Jabotinsky, Rothschild, Ha'Atsma'ut, Mahrozet, HaBesht, Isakov, Ehrlich, Bloomfield Stadium, Shalma (Salame), Elifelet, Allenby, Carlebach, Yehudit, Sha'ul HaMelekh, Arlosoroff, Abba Hillel, Bialik, Ben-Gurion, Aharonovich. From Aharonovich, one branch continues to Shenkar, Shaham, Beilinson, Dankner, Krol, Pinsker, Petah Tikva Central Bus Station (Terminal); another continues to Em HaMoshavot Bridge and Kiryat Arye.

The work on Allenby station began on February 8, 2015.

In May 2021, a test run of the red line began in Petah Tikva.

Green Line[edit]

The second or Green Line, in the tender phase, is a 39 kilometres (24 mi) with 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) of them underground. It will have 62 stops that would run from the west of Rishon LeZion northwards through Holon through central Tel Aviv splitting into two branches: one to Herzliya in the north and the other one to Ramat HaHayal neighborhood in Tel Aviv in the northeast. Only its central Tel Aviv segment, four of the 62 stations, will be underground, from Levinski Street through Ibn Gabirol Street until the Yarkon River.[23] The expected annual passenger forecast is 65 million. NTA is including the design and boring of the Green Line's tunnels as part of Red Line's tunnels overall contract so that work on the Green Line's underground portion can commence immediately following the completion of the Red Line tunnels. The preparations for the construction of this line begun in February 2017 in Ibn Gabirol street in Tel Aviv.[citation needed]

Purple Line[edit]

The third, or Purple Line, is envisaged as a 27 kilometres (17 mi) line with 43 stops and will connect Sheba Hospital through Giv'at Shmuel and Kiryat Ono, and will connect Arlozorov in Tel Aviv to Yehud and Or Yehuda through Ramat Gan. This line will be over-ground for its entire route.

Cancelled lines[edit]

Yellow Line[edit]

This line would have begun in Kfar Saba then continued on to Hod Hasharon, Herzliya, Ramat Hasharon on Sokolov Street, before joining Ben-Gurion Street in Ramat Gan, then Yitzhak Rabin Street in Givataim, then Moshe Dayan Street in Tel Aviv, Mikveh Israel, it would end in Holon after crossing Ariel Sharon Park. Parts of it were superseded by the M1 metro line.

Other mass transit systems[edit]


The rapid transit plan for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, conceived and approved in 2016, called for three underground metro lines, centered on Tel Aviv: a north–south line (M1), an east–west line (M2), and a circular line (M3).[24] The lines are currently undergoing an individual approval process.

Line Length No. of stations Status Opening Primary
M1[25] 85 km (53 mi) 62 M1S - Approved, M1C - Approved , M1N - Planned NET 2032 Tel Aviv, Lod, Ramle, Be'er Ya'akov, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Rishon LeZion, Holon, Ramat HaSharon, Herzliya, Ra'anana, Hod HaSharon, Kfar Sava
M2[25] 26 km (16 mi) 22 Approved[26] NET 2032 Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Giv'atayim, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Petah Tikva Holon Wolfson Railway Station
Petah Tikva
M3[25] 39 km (24 mi) 25 Approved[27] NET 2032 Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Or Yehuda, Azor, Holon, Bat Yam Herzliya Pituah
Bat Yam

Bus rapid transit[edit]

Most BRT lines planned for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area were cancelled in 2016 and replaced with metro lines. Only plans for the Brown Line were retained, however, no date for start of construction has been announced.

Line Length No. of stations Status Opening Primary
Brown Line[28] 30 km (19 mi) 46 Planned 2028 Rishon LeZion, Be'er Ya'akov, Ramle, Lod Rishon LeZion Moshe Dayan Railway Station
Lod Ganei Aviv Railway Station
Blue Line 23 km (14 mi) 44 Planned 2028 Rehovot, Ness Ziona, Rishon LeZion, Azor, Holon Bilu Junction
Holon Junction

Brown Line[edit]

The Brown Line is a planned BRT line that will serve the southern metropolitan area. Starting at Moshe Dayan Railway Station in western Rishon LeZion, it will continue east via central Rishon LeZion, bypassing Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center, until Ramle, where it splits into two branches: one continues to Lod in the northeast and the second continues to eastern Ramle in the east. There is a possibility of making it a light rail line eventually.

Blue Line[edit]

The Blue Line is the first BRT line not to pass via Tel Aviv. The line will begin in Bilu Junction near Rehovot and continues to HaRishonim Railway Station in Rishon LeZion via Ness Ziona and will end at the Holon junction. This line is expected to open in 2027 or 2028.[29]

Cancelled lines[edit]

Pink Line[edit]

The Pink Line was planned to serve the northern metropolitan area, beginning in northeastern Kfar Saba and continuing through its main streets until crossing Highway 4 to Ra'anana, continuing through Ahuza Street until western Ra'anana, and continuing to Herzliya and crossing it until the Marina area, where it would have terminated. This line was superseded by the M1 and M3 metro lines.

Orange Line[edit]

The Orange Line would have been the only line isolated from the system. It would serve only the city of Netanya in the northern metropolitan area. It would be a circular line that connects both sides of the city, crossing Highway 2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zagrizak, Asaf (September 20, 2023). "Tel Aviv light rail completes first month of operations". Globes. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  2. ^ Barkat, Amiram (September 20, 2011). "Work begins on Tel Aviv light rail". Globes. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Cohen, Moshe (4 October 2020). "עבודות הרכבת הקלה בתל אביב נכנסות לשלב הסופי" [Red Line Works in Tel Aviv Entering Final Stage]. Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Carl (2016-09-01). "The project that could help determine Israel's future". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  5. ^ a b c Gorodeisky, Sonia (December 25, 2018). "Work begins on second Tel Aviv light rail line". Globes. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Can Israel pivot from cars to public transport?". Globes. 2021-10-13. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  7. ^ Cotterell, Paul. "A Tramway Project in Jaffa". HaRakevet (6): 11–12.
  8. ^ שרטוט נדיר חשף: תוואי הרכבת הקלה בגוש דן תוכנן לפני כמאה שנה
  9. ^ "Tel Aviv's LRT dream". The International Light Rail Magazine. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  10. ^ "6: Light Rapid Transit". HaRakevet (80): 4. March 2008. ISSN 0964-8763.
  11. ^ The government officially nationalizes the construction of the Tel Aviv red line (Hebrew)
  12. ^ Morag, Gilad; Posek, Hillel (2015-04-18). "Tel Aviv light rail works expected to begin in the summer". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  13. ^ Lior, Ilan (2012-09-02). "Construction begins for Tel Aviv light rail, six years of traffic jams expected". Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  14. ^ "'We waited a long time for this': Tel Aviv light rail sets off after years of delays". The Times of Israel. 2023-08-18. Retrieved 2023-08-18.
  15. ^ The Red Line (in Hebrew)
  16. ^ "Tel Aviv light rail launch delayed until 2023". Globes. 21 March 2022.
  17. ^ The Green Line (in Hebrew)
  18. ^ Maor, Tami (December 24, 2012). "Test Drilling for Green Line of Tel Aviv Light Rail". Tel Aviv Local (in Hebrew). Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  19. ^ The project that could help determine Israel's future, The Jerusalem Post, Carl Hoffman, January 9, 2016
  20. ^ "Tel Aviv light rail Green Line completion delayed until 2028". Globes. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  21. ^ a b c "Purple Line". Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Tel Aviv Red Line tunnelling begins". Railway Gazette International. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Green Line". Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  24. ^ רובינשטיין, רועי (15 April 2019). "המטרו בגוש דן - צעד נוסף לקראת תחילת עבודות". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  25. ^ a b c "Metro". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Israel's Metro M2 line approved, budget released". Globes. 18 September 2023. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  27. ^ "First Tel Aviv Metro line sent for cabinet approval". Globes. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  28. ^ The Brown Line (in Hebrew)
  29. ^ Zagrizak, Asaf (April 14, 2022). "26 דקות ממכון ויצמן לראשון: תוכנית הקו הכחול בגוש דן נחשפת". Globes (in Hebrew).

External links[edit]