Six Israeli Towns to Operate Free Public Transportation on Rosh Hashana

Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni
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Free weekend bus in Tel Aviv
Free weekend bus in Tel Aviv Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Ran Shimoni
Ran Shimoni

Six local governments in the center of the Israel plan to operate free public transportation during Rosh Hashana, from Monday evening to Wednesday next week. This is the second time public transportation has been available during the holiday.

Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Ramat Hasharon, Kiryat Ono, Yahud and Shoham will operate seven bus lines connecting central areas in the Dan region.

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The service will be available from Rosh Hashana eve on September 6, between 6 P.M. and 2 A.M. The following day the lines will run from 9:30 A.M. to 2 A.M., and on the last day of the holiday, from 9:30 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Since this is an independent initiative, the electronic information screens at bus stops that indicate the lines’ operation times will not be working during the holiday.

Since the state prohibits charging money over the holiday, the bus service will be free of charge. “There’s a problem with providing free transportation, we’re creating unfair competition for the sherut taxis,” said deputy Tel Aviv Mayor in charge of transportation Meital Lehavi, referring to the shared minivans running along bus routes.

“I hope the government will understand the need and take the project on itself,” said Givatayim Mayor Ran Kunik.

When asked if the project would raise objection among the cities’ religious population, Lehavi said, “it’s not intended to anger anyone. We took care to provide solutions suitable to the local culture without creating confrontations.”

The weekend transportation service started in the central region of Israel in November 2019 as an independent initiative of local authorities, which don’t require the state’s approval.