Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Israel Railways on Tuesday debuted a new high-speed train connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 21 minutes, about half the time it would take to drive by car.
The rail line connects Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Yitzhak Navon Station in Jerusalem. After arriving at the airport in Tel Aviv, passengers must transfer to another train.
The Times of Israel reported that though the train ride between the two stations takes 21 minutes to complete, once travelers factor in the time it takes to descend the stairs to access the station in Jerusalem and to transfer to Hashalom Station, a major hub in central Tel Aviv, the trip connecting the two cities will take 45 minutes.
Israel Railways offered free rides on the train for the first 90 days of operation.
"As of the inauguration date of the line and for a 90 day period thereafter, traveling from the Yitzchak Navon Train Station in Jerusalem will be free of charge to any destination in Israel and back -- only for those passengers purchasing a [train ticket] on a personal or semi anonymous Rav Kav card at the Yitzhak Navon Train Station in Jerusalem," the company said.
Israel Railways plans to extend the line to more Tel Aviv stations, running up to four trains per hour in each direction.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Israel Katz took the inaugural trip on the train last week.