Ministry says status quo on Sabbath buses wont change

Transportation Ministry says its policies haven't changed, new bus lines will ensure service to hospitals before end of Shabbat on Saturdays.

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June 26, 2011 19:52
1 minute read.
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Hybrid Bus 311. (photo credit: gali amoyal)

 
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Changes to the Dan Bus Company’s lines in the Tel Aviv area that go into effect on Friday will not reduce service that begins before the end of Shabbat, the Transportation Ministry said.

“The Transportation Ministry’s policies in regard to buses operating before the end of Shabbat has not changed and the status quo on this issue will not be changed,” spokesman Avner Ovadyah said on Sunday.

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Ovadyah promised that the when new bus lines are established under the reform package, his ministry will ensure that there are still a number of buses leaving for hospitals shortly before the end of Shabbat.

Recent media reports had stated that under the reforms, a small number of Dan bus lines that begin operating on the early Saturday evening will have their operating hours pushed back until after sunset.

These lines, including the No.

35 from Tel Aviv to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, have for years begun their routes in the early evening on Shabbat, to help people get to hospitals at a comfortable hour, especially in the summer when sundown arrives late, as well as soldiers who need to return to their bases early following a weekend break.

Eitan Fixman, spokesman for Dan (www.dan.co.il/english), said the entire issue was a misunderstanding, and that whatever changes will be made under the reform will keep the status quo intact.

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Certain bus lines will be canceled or redrawn, which has in certain cases eliminated the necessity for them to run on Shabbat in that they no longer reach the hospitals, he said.

New lines that reach the hospitals will operate on Shabbat in place of the old lines so as to maintain the status quo, Fixman said.

No religious pressure or economic considerations were taken into account by Dan or by the Transportation Ministry in planning the new routes, he said.

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