Religious Freedom Victory: Public Transportation on Shabbat

Thanks to relentless campaigning by NIF grantees, several municipalities in and around Tel Aviv officially opened public transportation lines last Saturday.

The service that ran in Tel Aviv was incredibly successful, as the minibuses were unable to meet the high demand of customers. This change proved a massive victory for the activists fighting for public transportation on Saturday.

Several NIF grantees and organisations supported by Shatil had long advocated for public transportation on Shabbat, and were instrumental to this victory, including Be Free Israel (Yisrael Hofsheet), the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), and Shabus – Social Transportation on Weekends and others. Together, these groups put pressure on local governments to open public transportation on Shabbat. This is an especially crucial measure for those who cannot afford a car but need transportation access on Saturdays.

The list of cities who have successfully opened public transportation on Shabbat now includes Ramat Hasharon, Givatayim, Kiryat Ono, and Tel Aviv.

Photo by Andrew Nash via Flickr

December 2019