(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Almost a month after transportation reforms went into effect, Transportation Minister Israel Katz expressed dismay on Tuesday that towns over the Green Line and in the Galilee were not included in the plan.
Katz turned to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon in an effort to get those communities included.
“It is unacceptable that two areas of the country that already suffer from being far from population centers are left out of the plan and are excluded from reforms that are supposed to encourage further use of public transportation,” Katz said, adding that the exclusion adds to the problems facing travelers in Judea and Samaria, where there are already many security problems on the roads.
The Transportation Ministry said it was quickly preparing the additions to the plan that would include the regions in question. The next step is for the additions to get approval from both Kahlon and Katz.
On Tuesday, the Transportation Ministry announced the addition of Kiryat Gat to the transportation reform map as part of the Dan region, saying it will go into effect on February 1, following a complaint from Likud MK Miki Zohar, who lives in the city.
A monthly transportation pass for traveling between Kiryat Gat and Tel Aviv will cost NIS 423 instead of NIS 495. Meanwhile, the cost of a monthly pass between Kiryat Gat and Beersheba will be lowered to NIS 354, from NIS 415.
The overall Transportation Ministry reform went into effect on January 1 and enabled Rav-Kav multi-fare cardholders to take advantage of new subscriptions that integrate various modes of travel, offering discounted packages based on designated destination zones.
Since then, passengers have been able to purchase daily, weekly and monthly passes at reduced costs within the Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba metropolitan areas, with the ministry hoping to increase system flexibility that will encourage travelers to choose public transportation over their private cars.
Sharon Udasin contributed to this report.