Frustrated by the decades-old prohibition of public transportation in the capital during Shabbat and certain holidays, a cooperative of Jerusalem entrepreneurs initiated the “Shabus” bus service on Friday for secular and non-Jewish visitors to the city.
According to Hovev Yanay, one of the founders of the Cooperative Transportation Association of Jerusalem, the initiative was created in response to the Transportation Ministry’s refusal to allow bus and light rail service during Shabbat.
“We studied the law and searched for the golden path between the Transportation Ministry’s refusal to give licenses to operate public transportation on Shabbat, and the needs of many Jerusalemites,” Yanay told YNet.
He added that the cooperative has raised over NIS 110,000 through a crowdfunding website called Headstart. To date, Yanay said approximately 500 people have signed up online for the service, at a cost of NIS 50 for an annual membership fee.
While service is initially only being offered to the association’s members, in June he said it will be made available to the general public at a cost of NIS 12 per ride.