Naim's bus on the weekend. More than 30,<> passengers every weekend (Photo: Tel Aviv Municipality)
The Shabbat bus project operated by local authorities due to the government's refusal to operate public transportation on Shabbat for the benefit of those who do not own a private vehicle and cannot afford to travel by taxi is expanding beyond the borders of the Dan region for the first time: starting this Friday, it will be joined by the Mevaseret Zion Council, near Jerusalem, together with two nearby councils, Mateh Yehuda and Abu Ghosh.
In doing so, it will be the ninth local authority to join the Naim Weekend project together with Givatayim, Hod Hasharon, Kfar Saba, Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut, Kiryat Ono, Ramat Hasharon, Shoham and Tel Aviv-Yafo.
The new line - 715 - will operate on weekends, on Fridays from 19:00 until 3:00 in the morning, and on Saturdays from 11:00 am until 18:00, with a frequency of one bus every two to two and a half hours. The line will begin its operations at the Maoz Zion station in Mevaseret Zion, pass through Harel Mall and Harel Boulevard in the council, continue at the Hemed interchange and Shoresh interchange, and end at stations in Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Rothschild Boulevard, Dizengoff Street, the beaches and Tel Aviv Port.
Mevaseret is home to about 25,<> people. Yoram Shimon, head of the Mevaseret Zion Local Council, said, "The new line will enable all those residents who wish to reach Tel Aviv-Yafo by public transportation to do so free of charge, safely and quickly. Public transportation in general and on weekends in particular has many advantages, including financial savings and safety – returning people from the center of the country to Mevaseret Zion without the need to drive – reducing air pollution and more."
Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv Meital Lehavi and the heads of the councils of Mevasseret, Mateh Yehuda and Abu Ghosh: Yoram Shimon, Niv Wiesel and Salim Jaber (Photo: Tel Aviv Municipality)
The "Naim on the Weekend" transportation system began operating for the first time at the end of 2019, and currently serves more than 30,13 passengers every weekend. The system includes 500 lines and more than 365 stations, and allows travel to the city center and between the various neighborhoods during hours when regular public transportation is not active, taking into account areas where Sabbath observants live. The service includes accessibility for people with disabilities, who can receive an accessible travel service by prior arrangement.
Ron Huldai, mayor of Tel Aviv, which finances most of the project's budget, said, "I congratulate Mevaseret Zion on joining Naim over the weekend, which will enable for the first time to provide a solution for residents outside the Dan region. This transportation system is an economic and social promoter that fulfills a substantial need of a large population in Israel. I hope that more and more authorities will see the importance of this issue and join us in order to grant freedom of movement to anyone who wishes to do so. The right to move <> days a year is a basic and essential civil right."
Meital Lehavi, deputy mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo and holder of the transportation portfolio, said, "The transportation system on Shabbat 'Naim on the Weekend' continues to expand and add to its ranks more and more authorities in Israel, who understand that transportation on Shabbat is necessary and necessary for a large public in Israel, which is besieged in its homes every weekend and holiday. The project, which began in Gush Dan, has already crossed the first circle of the metropolis in its first year and proves its necessity for a large public in Israel that, in the name of the status quo, which has already lost its value decades ago, is denied the right to establish movement and freedom."
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