Changes to the Dan Bus Company’s lines in the Tel Aviv area that go into effect
on Friday will not reduce service that begins before the end of Shabbat, the
Transportation Ministry said.
“The Transportation Ministry’s policies in
regard to buses operating before the end of Shabbat has not changed and the
status quo on this issue will not be changed,” spokesman Avner Ovadyah said on
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Ovadyah promised that the when new bus lines are established
under the reform package, his ministry will ensure that there are still a number
of buses leaving for hospitals shortly before the end of Shabbat.
media reports had stated that under the reforms, a small number of Dan bus lines
that begin operating on the early Saturday evening will have their operating
hours pushed back until after sunset.
These lines, including the
35 from Tel Aviv to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, have for
years begun their routes in the early evening on Shabbat, to help people get to
hospitals at a comfortable hour, especially in the summer when sundown arrives
late, as well as soldiers who need to return to their bases early following a
Eitan Fixman, spokesman for Dan (www.dan.co.il/english),
said the entire issue was a misunderstanding, and that whatever changes will be
made under the reform will keep the status quo intact.
Certain bus lines
will be canceled or redrawn, which has in certain cases eliminated the necessity
for them to run on Shabbat in that they no longer reach the hospitals, he
New lines that reach the hospitals will operate on Shabbat in place
of the old lines so as to maintain the status quo, Fixman said.
religious pressure or economic considerations were taken into account by Dan or
by the Transportation Ministry in planning the new routes, he said.