Tel Aviv Councilman Moshe Tiomkin has filed a request with the Ministry of Transportation seeking approval for additional Shabbos bus routes in the city. While there is limited bus service in the city on Shabbos today, the councilmen feels the service is insufficient and there is a growing need and demand for increased public transportation towards accommodating the many residents without vehicles or those who simply do not wish to use their vehicle.
Tiomkin feels that approval for seven additional Shabbos lines will significantly contribute to meeting the needs of the city in addition to encouraging residents to leave their cars at home, which he adds is a welcome reality. Mayor Ron Huldai has been in favor of boosted Shabbos bus service but he is also bound by coalition agreements.
The left-wing Meretz party has recently stepped up its activities towards improved Shabbos bus service, explaining there are tens of thousands of non-Jews in the city along with many residents who do not own vehicles and require bus service to get around on Shabbos.
The city’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlita has spoken out against the move, and he calls on the mayor and city council to respect the current long-standing status quo.
During the winter, the city council voted in favor of Shabbos bus service but it has met with resistance on the national government level.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)