An Egged bus sits in a parking lot .
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Some 2.5 million travelers will benefit from expanded public transportation discounts beginning on Tuesday, the Transportation Ministry announced on Sunday.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz signed an order on Sunday indicating that as of December 1, many more people will be able to travel on buses and trains either free of charge, or with ticket reductions of up to 50 percent.
Chief among those to benefit will be about 2 million children between the ages of 5 and 18, who will receive 50% reductions on all forms of public transportation, the ministry said. Previously, children received such concessions only on urban and regional travel.
About 280,000 disabled people and national insurance beneficiaries who receive income supplements will be eligible for 33% discounts for all public transportation use, according to the ministry announcement.
Up until now, national insurance beneficiaries received reductions on trips under NIS 25.
Disabled IDF veterans, who were never before qualified for transportation discounts, will also be entitled to 33% reductions, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, blind passengers will receive full exemption from bus and train fare, an upgrade from their current 50% discount on routes that cost up to NIS 16.5, the announcement added. Those accompanying blind passengers can receive up to a 50% discount.
National Service volunteers, as well as students involved in pre-military activities, will be able to use public transportation free of charge, except for journeys to Eilat, the ministry said. Soldiers in a “service without payment” portion of their military service will also be eligible to travel free of charge, except to Eilat, after previously only receiving discounts on trips of up to NIS 11.5.
A final change in the fare structure will enable parents to travel with strollers at no extra cost, except between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. – the “rush hour of public transportation,” the ministry added.