Transportation Minister Israel Katz appealed to Finance Minister Yair Lapid in
an effort to prevent the public transportation fare increases slated for the
beginning of 2014.
Katz sent a letter to Lapid on Sunday, in which he
asked the finance minister to considering canceling the 4.7-percent rise in
fares scheduled to hit the nation’s train and bus travelers on January
Most users of public transportation are low-income residents, young
people, the elderly and immigrants, for whom such an increase in ticket prices
would be significantly harmful, the transportation minister
“The Transportation Ministry is making great efforts to
increase the use of public transportation and boost its attractiveness compared
to the use of a private car,” Katz wrote. “We must remember that the sector’s
gains as a result of a canceling the price hike will be many times more than the
expected additional revenue from raising the prices.”
Fares for public
bus and train use can be updated no more than twice a year, coinciding with the
update of the Consumer Price Index, on January 1 and July 1, according to a 1997
cabinet decision. The rate increase takes into account the price indices
recorded in the past two years, from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2014, in
addition to tax increases.
The last recorded tariff increase occurred on
January 1, 2012, with a rise of 3% in ticket prices, the Transportation Ministry
said. During that time, the Consumer Price Index increased by 3.68%, and the tax
rate rose from 16% to 18%, the ministry added.