The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality yesterday approved a plan to operate seven newsherut (private minibus services) routes, which will operate across the city, including on Shabbos Kodesh. The Ministry of Transport will have to approve the plan.
Tel Aviv councilwoman Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) proposed the plan. She said, “I am proud that my proposal has been approved. Functioning public transport every day is the norm worldwide, and we should not accept anything less. The time has come to update the status quo.”
Zandberg said that polls taken in 2010 showed broad support for the measure. 62% of Tel Aviv residents and 93% of secular Jews support the operation of public transport on Shabbos.
Zandberg said, “40% of Tel Aviv-Jaffa’s residents do not own a car, and cannot travel one day in seven. These residents are stuck, grounded, unable to travel beyond walking or cycling distance on their day of rest. Continuous transport is essential for a sustainable city. This is a social act of the first order and we’re ready to fight for our rights, up to the High Court of Justice if necessary.”
The new routes are as follows: Hatayism terminal in east Tel Aviv to the city center; lines from south Tel Aviv to Jaffa; lines from east Tel Aviv via Jaffa to the seashore, the Tel Aviv Port, the Exhibition Grounds, and Kiryat Atidim; lines from northeast Tel Aviv to the city center and Jaffa; and lines from the Central Bus Station via the city center to the northern neighborhoods.