Overcrowding on new Shabbat buses due to high demand

"I waited for half-an-hour for the next minibus. Everything was full," said Ruth, who traveled from Givatayim to Tel Aviv.

Public busses were seen on the streets of Tel Aviv on Shabbat for the first time in Israel’s history (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Public busses were seen on the streets of Tel Aviv on Shabbat for the first time in Israel’s history
Saturday marked the second day of the "Pleasant Weekend" Shabbat public transportation project in the Center of the country, with minibuses traveling in the following cities: Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon and Kiryat Ono. Passengers reported overcrowding, due to the high demand. 
Buses were only had 19 seats and some of the six lines reported adding additional buses to accommodate the number of people who wanted to ride them. 
"I waited for half-an-hour for a minibus," said Ruth, who took a bus from Givatayim to Tel Aviv. "It's a shame that it's only just begun, better late than never."
“I'm going promenade in Tel Aviv,” said Guy. “I don't have to spend maybe a hundred shekels on taxis now, and I can go for a drink in the pub and not worry, I have a way to come back."
"We made history," said Roey Shwartz Tichon, head of the Noa Tanua organization that is operating the buses. He said, "I thank the municipalities who donated to this important move and took part in a tremendous project, and I hope that our children never know there was not transportation in Israel on Shabbat in the past."
Organizers were surprised by the high demand.
Givatayim Mayor Ran Konik, who was also traveled on the new buses, said: "This is an important, historic and exciting day, where hundreds of thousands of residents of Gush Dan need to be addressed.
“We meet young people going out, adults visiting relatives in nearby towns, people visiting relatives at Ichilov Hospital - travelers of all ages,” he said. “I am aware of the faults and burdens that were on the lines, even in the evening Saturday's lines were full, and we will learn the lessons from the glitches as well, in preparation when we begin operating next week.”
The buses did not operate in in Bat Yam, Holon and Rishon Lezion.
Activists from the "Free Israel" movement protested in front of the home of Rishon Lezion Mayor Raz Kintzlich, requesting that the "wine city" also have public transportation on Saturday to Tel Aviv. A resident of the city said: "There are also many young people in Rishon Lezion who want to come to the city on Saturday, and they deserve public transport."
Ramat Gan, where public transport began on Saturday about four months ago, is not participating in the venture, mainly because of a dispute over the name of the project.
In Ramat Gan, they demanded that the Shabbat transport be named for the project that was pioneering on its initiative "Sabbus"(Shabbat + bus), but the municipalities, headed by the Tel Aviv municipality, decided that the project would be called "Have a pleasant weekend."
Meretz Chairman and Democratic Union leader MK Nitzan Horowitz said, "It's a historic day, a holiday.
"After many years of struggle, the public transportation revolution has begun," Horowitz said. "With Meretz's continued struggle in the municipalities and in the Knesset, alongside other dedicated organizations, we have won. From now on even those who do not have a vehicle or a driver's license and do not have hundreds of shekels to spend on taxis will be able to travel on the weekends."
More information on the weekend transportation can be found here.
Abridged translation by Ezra Taylor.