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Petition to allow public transportation on Shabbat goes to High Court

Transportation minister has refused to upset the status quo between religious and secular communities

An outside view of Tel Aviv's central bus station (photo credit: Rachael Cerrotti/Flash90)
An outside view of Tel Aviv's central bus station (photo credit: Rachael Cerrotti/Flash90)

The left-wing political party Meretz petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday demanding that Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz allow some public transportation on Shabbat, according to TheMarker.

The petition calls for allowing buses to operate on Shabbat if they provide transportation to the hospital, to outlying border communities or to non-Jewish areas.

The petition comes two months after the Tel Aviv City Council agreed in principle to allow public transportation on Shabbat. The Transportation Ministry has said that it would not accept the proposal for fear of upsetting the status quo between religious and secular communities.

According to Meretz, Katz is acting unreasonably by not considering all of the proposal’s points before making his decision.

Meretz claims that the need for public transport in Tel Aviv is acute, since only 40% of the city’s residents own cars. The petition cites the fact that public transportation on Shabbat is available in Eilat and Haifa, and that sherut taxis, which operate 24/7, are also under the auspices of the Transportation Ministry.

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