The initiative to operate a municipal bus line which would drive youths to the city's nightclubs and back on Friday nights has been frozen for about a year due to the objection of the mayor, who has signed coalition agreements with the ultra-Orthodox factions, which state that there will be no change in the city's status quo.
The initiative to operate buses on Shabbat eve in Tel Aviv is being led by Deputy Mayor Attorney Assaf Zamir, who told Ynet he "still hopes it will be implemented and that we will get to see this line operating on Friday nights."
City Councilman Rabbi Naftali Lubert explained to Ynet why the haredi factions are against public transportation on Shabbat.
"'Pikuach nefesh' (saving of human life) is not on the bus, but on education about the importance of human life. Many hours should be invested in knowing how to drive without drinking, and not in buses… The problem is that young drivers couldn't care less about the law and drink and drive."
Bus won't arrive on Shabbat (Archive photo: Oren Agmon)
Tel Aviv operates taxi mini-vans on Friday nights, but they only travel on main routes without reaching most neighborhoods.
According to a Tel Aviv Municipality report, there are more accidents on Fridays and Saturdays involving people aged 17 to 24 than on other days of the week.
The Tel Aviv Municipality said in response, "The mayor has stated more than once that he is in favor of public transportation on Shabbat, but the Transportation Ministry prohibits the night lines throughout Shabbat. Nonetheless, we are looking into different suggestions and trying to reach an understanding which will allow a weekend transportation service for partygoers."
The Transportation Ministry's night lines, which are operated in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area by the Egged and Dan companies, operate on Thursday and Saturday nights only due to the haredi objection.
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