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Contrary to the plans of Mayor Nir Barkat, the Jerusalem light rail will not commence operations over Passover, as it failed to pass the safety tests of the German company hired by the Transportation Ministry to check it.

The official launch date for the train is in August, which grew from arbitration between the state and the light rail's contractors after a decade of delays.

Barkat later suggested that to ease the congestion in the city center and to prepare the public for the commercial operation of the train, that it begin traveling on a small section of track during the Passover holiday.

The plan, jointly prepared by the City Pass company, the state and the municipality, was to have the train travel between the Central Bus Station and the Old City, carrying Jerusalem residents for free and visitors from outside the city for a reduced fee of NIS 2.

However, this was conditioned on receiving an operating license from the Transport Ministry, which hired experts from Germany. Their check of the train showed the light rail and City Pass still had to make some improvement. So the train will not begin operating during Passover but may begin partial operation in May. No date was set.

City Pass said in response that as it has stated before, it will only begin operating the train after securing all the necessary permits.

The municipality said that regrettably, despite the efforts of the city and the ministry, the contractors did not complete all preparations in time to begin operating the train in April. It said efforts were underway to begin operating the train on Jaffa Road.