Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav wants all public transportation in his city to run 24/7,
including on Shabbat, he told The Jerusalem Post
during an interview in his
office on Monday.
Yahav said he hopes the city’s mass transit systems,
including the Metronit, a newly built express bus lane, and Carmelit, the short
and currently only existing subway in Israel, will operate around the clock
starting next year.
“We are the most secular city in Israel so unlike
other places I don’t expect it to be as much a problem,” he said.
issue is that it may be seen as a change to the status quo.”
the only day public transportation would halt would be on Yom Kippur, the
holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
Currently, public transportation in
most cities ceases on Friday evening and restarts on Saturday
Haifa, where regular bus lines continue to partially operate, is
currently the only exception to that rule.
Yahav, who entered office in
2003, said his plan to increase the buses’ frequency over the weekend and have
the two mass transit systems, which currently close for the weekend, operating
non-stop will be one of the pillars of his reelection platform next
Haifa is Israel’s third largest city with a metropolitan population
of around one million people. An industrial hub, it often falls in the shadow of
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Municipal spokesman Roni Grossman said it is sometimes
difficult to draw the attention of the national media to the port city. Yahav’s
plan to reform the local transportation system is the latest in a long line of
initiatives proposed by Haifa mayors aimed at making it more competitive.