Public Transportation Survives Total Shutdown, Just Barely

Public transportation in Yerushalayim on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Public transportation in Israel was set to shut down almost completely, though minimal operations will be allowed for essential activities, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The fate of buses and trains in the latest raft of travel restrictions featured high on the agenda at government meetings on Tuesday night, where a proposal for total shutdown of public conveyances was resisted by Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

According to the Post, Smotrich argued that “it is impossible to determine that people can continue to work [within strict limits], but not allow them the ability to get there.”

“Public transportation will be reduced to the minimum that is necessary,” Smotrich said. “I urge the public not to use it unless there is no other choice, and only for the purpose that is permitted in accordance with the new regulations.”

While the new restrictions on movement were scheduled to go into effect Wednesday evening, Smotrich stipulated that “public transportation should only be closed after alternatives for both essential workers and basic social services [are in place], as well as services offered to supply the need of disadvantaged populations with food and other essentials.”