Transportation, Infrastructure and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak to continue free travel for soldiers on public transportation, following reports that soldiers in uniform would have to pay but would be reimbursed via smart cards. Katz said it was not only important to the soldiers, it was a way of encouraging the use of public transportation.
In an effort to reduce crowding on Sundays, when soldiers return to base from weekend leave, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Railways provide free soldiers-only buses between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. with a guaranteed seat and a light breakfast. Some of the bus routes use the Highway 6 Trans-Israel toll road and the Haifa tunnels. Soldiers will continue to ride free on the railroad daily, except between 6:00 and 9:00.