There was good news for Israeli commuters on Wednesday: restrictions on public transportation due to the pandemic may soon be lifted.
The deputy director general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Itamar Grotto, told the Knesset’s State Audit Committee: “We don’t see a high rate of infection on public transport; we may allow a ridership increase,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
Even if further restrictions are imposed in other sectors to stem a coronavirus resurgence, they will likely not affect public transportation.
Committee chairman Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) said, ”When you attend the hearings and hear about the hardships, you understand why the State Comptroller had to write a special report on public transportation. These are shortcomings and problems that existed before the corona. . . [and] these are the effects of the no less than criminal neglect of public transport in every category: buses, trains, light rail.”
“The only bright spot that came up in the discussion is that the current situation of the corona allows companies to do more infrastructure work than has been done for a long time,” Ofer added.
Long waits due to service reductions are common, and there have been reports that intercity buses, particularly the Tel Aviv-Yerushalayim route, have been as crowded as ever, despite the limiting regulations.