Knesset to decide on limited public transport on Saturdays

Yesh Atid Knesset members seek to allow minibuses to run to & from city centers on Shabbat and holidays, allowing the economically weaker sector travel, not just car-owners.

By Gideon Allon


Yesh Atid MKs Yael German, Karin Elharrar and Yoel Razvozov intend to put forth a private member’s bill that would allow local authorities to operate public transportation on Saturday. The bill would permit minibuses to run within each locality and on intercity roads.

Will the No. 5 bus run down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on Saturdays, too? – Photo: Yehoshua Yosef

According to the bill, making public transportation available on Shabbat is designed to give some mobility to sectors that cannot drive or afford to drive, such as the elderly or youth. The bill is slated to be presented to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation this coming Sunday.

The bill stipulates that public transportation on Saturday would have a limited scope — only one or two bus lines that go to and from city centers would run, and the buses would not enter religious neighborhoods or pass synagogues.

Elharrar, Rasvozov and German emphasized that the bill would not affect anyone who wanted to observe Shabbat, since current law allows any employee to refuse to work on Shabbat.

German said: “For some of the population, Saturday is the day they can visit their family, go out and have fun, go to the movies, go to cafes, and these [places] are all legally open on Shabbat. However, public transportation is prohibited, creating a situation in which the [economically] weaker sector is shut up at home on Shabbat and holidays.”


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