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Feb 28, 2012

Buses On Shabbos Next In Jerusalem?

After Tel Aviv activists succeeded in the first stage of getting public transportation on Shabbos, by getting the Tel Aviv city council to vote in favor, Jerusalem activists are going to try for public transportation in the capital, albeit at a smaller level.

According to Mynet, the students union at Hebrew University is going to start operating a van service so students can get from the campus to downtown cheaply on Friday nights.

With no public transportation, students end up paying a lot of money for taxis to get where they need to go over the weekend, especially to the ever popular downtown area on Friday night.

That itself would not be objectionable, as it is just private transportation, and there are plenty of cars on the roads on Shabbos in Jerusalem.

What will soon be the source of a coming round of strife in Jerusalem is Jerusalem city councilman Pepe Alou announcing that he is going to submit a proposal to the city council to begin operating public transportation on Shabbos. He tempers his proposal by saying he is only looking to operate a small number of bus lines in order to facilitate the transportation of students on Friday nights to entertainment centers. The purpose, Alou says is to minimize young people driving under the influence of alcohol, and thereby lowering the number of traffic accidents.

Alou is prepared for the opposition to his plan and for the Transportation Ministry rejecting his proposal. He says that in that eventuality, the city would be able to operate city lines that would be formed for this purpose.

In Tel Aviv the religious council members have minimal power to thwart the proposals, They might have to learn to live with it. In Jerusalem it is going to be a much fiercer battle.

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