Bus (illustrative)
Bus (illustrative)iStock

Israel's Finance and Transportation ministries are working out a reform in public transportation fees, to prevent the expected price hike.

According to The Marker, the reform would take effect in April, ending discounts in haredi cities and some cities in the periphery, in areas where residents have lower-than-average incomes. Instead of the price differing by location, as it currently does, the new plan would have just three prices: municipal, regional, and intercity, Omer Carmon reported. This would effectively cancel all of the discounts for public transportation in Israel's periphery.

The plan would sharply increase the price of public transportation in haredi cities, as well as in other cities which have agreements with the government, such as Tiberias, Ofakim, Kiryat Gat, Rehovot, Ramla. and Afula, The Marker added.

According to the report, the Finance Ministry is also considering eliminating the 50% discount which is currently provided to citizens who are above the age of pension (62 for women and 65 for men).

In order to prevent public outrage, the ministries are considering allowing everyone age 75 and over to travel free. The discount provided for public transportation in Judea and Samaria, which is called a "protection discount," will remain unchanged.

In a statement, the Transportation Ministry said, "In the coming months, our Ministry will examine, together with the Finance Ministry, the structure of public transportation costs."

The Finance Ministry responded: "We are examining a change in the structure of public transportation prices. The final prices which will be set as part of the change have not yet been determined."