Egged signs deal to give up 15% of bus lines, 2% of routes

The Egged Bus Cooperative signed an agreement with the state Sunday to transfer 15% of its bus lines and 2% of its routes on the Haifa Metronit to other carriers. The move aims to increase competition in the public transportation system by opening it up to new operators. 
As part of the agreement, Egged will relinquish its control over holdings that are not directly related to transportation, like operation and maintenance of the central bus depots.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz congratulated the sides in reaching a deal and said that it would ensure lower prices and better service for all public transportation users. Katz said that the ministry would be offering up 16 public transport clusters, of 200 buses each, by tender to other operators.