ISRAEL’s minister of transportation and road safety, Ms Miri Regev, has signed the first order to expropriate land required for the construction of the Tel Aviv Metro, marking a major step forward for the country’s largest infrastructure project that is expected to cost an unprecedented Shekels 150bn ($US 39.4bn).

Tel Aviv Metropolitan Mass Transit System (NTA) will now be able to commence acquiring the land that will be needed to build the three-line metro network within the next few months.

With a total length of 150km, the metro will serve 109 stations and 24 different local authorities within the Greater Tel Aviv area and is expected to carry 2 million passengers a day.

The longest line will be the 85km M1 Blue line, running from north to south and serving Raanana, Hertzliya, Ramat HaSharon, Kfar Saba, Hod HaSharon, Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Rishon LeZion, Nes Ziona, Rehovot, Beer Ya'akov, Ramla and Lod.

The M2 Brown line will be 25km long, running from east to west to serve Tel Aviv, Giv’atayim, Ramat Gan and Petah Tikva.

Semi-circular in shape, the M3 Yellow line will be 39km long and will have interchanges with the M1 Blue line at Glilot and Holon Yoseftal, and with the M2 Brown line at Kfar Ganim.

Line M3 will serve Bat Yam, Holon, Azor, Or Yehuda, Giv'at Shmuel, Kiryat Ono, Petah Tikva, Tel Aviv, Hertzliya and Ramat HaSharon. There will be a branch from Bikat Ono to Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport.

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