JERUSALEM (JTA) — Tel Aviv will start providing public transportation on Shabbat.
Beginning this weekend, public transportation will run in the city on Friday night and all day Saturday.
The initiative, called “We move on weekends,” will have six routes as well as transportation to surrounding communities, including Ramat Hasharon, Givatayim, and Kiryat Ono. The routes will try to circumvent religious neighborhoods.
Ramat Hasharon, a city just north of Tel Aviv, started a pilot Shabbat transportation program several months ago. More cities are planning to follow suit, according to reports.
The city of Tel Aviv will pick up $2.6 million of the $3.6 million operating costs for the first year, i24 reported.
In Israel, buses and trains do not generally run in Jewish-majority cities on Friday night and Saturday before sundown. The practice was born of an agreement reached between the haredi Orthodox community and David Ben-Gurion before the formation of the state.
“The ability to move from place to place throughout the week is a fundamental right,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai told reporters. He challenged the Israeli government to approve such service for all citizens.