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Sabbath Busing a Flop, Meretz Still Determined

A Sabbath bus from Holon to Tel Aviv drew just dozens, but Meretz remains determined to challenge religious-secular status quo.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/26/2012, 8:28 PM

Public transportation on Shabbat
Public transportation on Shabbat
Flash90

The secular left Meretz party has been providing busing to and from Tel Aviv on the Sabbath in an attempt to challenge the religious-secular “status quo” agreement.

The latest attempt was a flop, as just a few dozen people turned out to get a free ride from Holon to Tel Aviv.

The ride from Holon was the first in which Meretz activists did not ask travelers to pay for their seats, but did require that they order a spot on the bus in advance. Its unpopularity may indicate that regular, paid busing would be even less popular than the Meretz free buses.

Activists have previously provided busing in Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba, Raanana, Herzliya, and Hod Hasharon. The project aims to challenge current arrangements under which most cities do not provide public transportation on the Sabbath out of respect for Jewish tradition.

Despite the setback, Meretz activists declared that they will continue to provide buses on the Sabbath “until the Transportation Ministry wakes up and frees the secular public from the transportation siege it is under.”