Herzliya votes to run buses on Shabbat

The city of Herzliya will ask Israel’s Ministry of Transportation to approve a permit to run city buses on Shabbat.

The Herzliya City Council voted 12-5 on Tuesday to approve a proposal to operate a bus line from the city center, past a major mall to the beach on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

City officials reportedly told Israeli media said it would take its request to the Supreme Court if it is denied by the ministry.

The council’s vote comes a month after the Tel Aviv Municipal Council approved a similar measure. 

At the time, the Transportation Ministry said in a statement that “There is a decades-old status quo regarding operation of public transportation on Shabbat, and the Transportation Ministry does not intend to violate it.”

In general, public transportation does not operate on the Sabbath in Israel, except in Haifa and Eilat on a limited basis. It is part of the “status quo,” a doctrine that regulates the public relationship between the religious and secular positions in Israel.