Public transport fares to be reduced 14.5%

The Knesset plenary approved in second and third readings on Monday evening a bill that will reduce public transportation fares by 14.5 percent, in comparison to the rates valid on January 1.
The 14.5% reduction in tariffs is equivalent to the state's revenues from value added tax charged with bus and train fares as of January 1, according to the bill's explanatory notes.
The bill, proposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Interior Minister Arye Deri, also requires the state to subsidize resultant losses incurred by the transportation operators, with whom ticket pricing agreements already existed prior to the passage of the bill. At a Finance Committee meeting earlier in the day, during which the bill passed in its first reading, the committee's chairman MK Moshe Gafni said he intended to see the legislation enter into force already on January 24.
The third and final reading of the bill on Monday night received the support of 92 Knesset members, with no opposition.