On Tuesday evening, the Tel Aviv Municipality Finance Committee approved a budget that makes room for the city to operate a public transportation system on Shabbos. The total sum for the Shabbos transportation part of the budget will come to NIS 12.5 million annually. This number includes the share of the nearby municipalities who expressed their willingness to join the project as well as, and hence agreed to incorporate part of the costs.
Initially, the transportation system, which is set to utilize special shuttle services will only operate on Saturdays within the confines of the city, but the goal is to allow additional authorities to join the project. Once the neighboring municipalities give their own commitments for participation in both the planning and financing of the project, the system will be expanded into those areas.
It is the hope of the project organizers that by the end of 2019 the nearby municipalities of Givatayim, Kiryat Ono, and Ramat Hasharon will b integrated into the system. According to a report in Maariv, the network of lines is gaining widespread interest from other heads of authorities and is expected to provide a suitable transport solution for about four million metropolitan residents.
The transport network will be based on a 7-track network that will span the length and breadth of cities in the metropolis, emphasizing good accessibility and frequency to and from the city center. It has been said that at least at the beginning stages, the service will be free, and passengers will be able to make exchanges between the network lines.
Tel Aviv-Yaffo Mayor Ron Huldai said: “The Metropolitan Transportation Network joins the Ministry of Transportation’s taxi service plan, and the cooperative ventures operated by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality -” Ototel “and” Tel Ophan “. Their aim is to meet the growing public demand for solutions. Throughout the week, to create transportation alternatives that will help reduce the need for residents and islanders in private vehicles and reduce their use, thereby contributing to lowering the cost of living, alleviating transportation and parking problems and enabling mobility for disadvantaged populations who do not own a private vehicle. ”
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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)