Israel to provide free public transport services for people aged 75 and over
Recently, Israel’s Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli and Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman revealed their public transport fares reform plan at a press meeting. According to the plan, prices for all kinds of public transport were greatly shrunk for Israelis of all ages.
Also, the plan states that Israelis aged 75 and over can use public transport services for free. This means they will no longer be required to pay for public transport services, announced Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday as part of the new “Equal Commute” reform.
The public transport fare reform plan, which comes into effect in the summer includes free public transport for people aged 75 and over. People aged 60-74 will be eligible for a 50% discount on fares.
According to the plan, children aged under five will continue to use the transport services for free and children aged between 5 and 18 will be eligible for a 50% discount. People with disabilities and receiving income support now have a 33% discount on fares. After the plan comes into effect, those people with disabilities who receive income support will receive a 50% discount.
The plan states that monthly tickets for using buses and the light rail services along with Israel railways up to a distance of 40 kilometers (around 25 miles) will cost NIS 255. And, the monthly tickets for using bus services within a 40-kilometer radius will be for NIS 99 excluding the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa metropolitan areas.
Also, some changes were made in connection with the fares, Before the reforms, rates for inner-city rides oscillated significantly between cities and areas. After the reform, inner-city buses in most of the country are now just NIS 5.50 per ride.
Michaeli said ” 80 different fares will be merged into just five different fares,” she added, “The state will subsidize public transport by 70%, and in the coming years that will rise even more.”
“The reform we have announced today is transportation justice,” Michaeli said during its revelation at Jerusalem’s Yitzhak Navon railway station. The point of the “Equal Commute” reform is to spirit up the Israelis to use public transportation, Michaeli added, increased use of public transportation will “get us out of traffic, reduce accidents on the roads and help us with our climate crisis goals.”
“Former transportation ministers have neglected Israeli public transport for many years,” the transportation minister said. “The varying prices for different cities were a result of longstanding political deals: inequality in all its glory.”
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