Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz said Tuesday that religious Jews have an interest in allowing public transportation to operate on Shabbat.
Speaking at the Knesset Economic Committee hearing on public transportation on Shabbat, Horowitz said that adding buses would reduce overall traffic on the holy day, benefiting religious people concerned about maintaining a Shabbat atmosphere.
"From your point of view, you should be interested in having public transportation on Shabbat," he told MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), "because it reduces traffic."
Eliminating cheap, accessible transport does not make sense for a government trying to reduce the number of cars on the road, he added. "How can you tell people not to buy cars when they can't use public transport on their one free day?"
The thrust of Horowitz's argument, however, focused on the needs of secular citizens who need or want cheaper ways to get around on Shabbat. "I am not forcing you to go on the public transport," he said, "but you can't force me to stay at home."