Public transport fares to rise 12%

Egged bus  credit: Shlomi Yosef
Egged bus credit: Shlomi Yosef

Current and former transport ministers Miri Regev and Merav Michaeli have exchanged accusations over the rise.

Public transport fares in Israel are set to rise by 12% from July 1, in accordance with the rise in the public transport inputs index. The index is updated once a year in July, and is made up of wages, fuel, insurance, and other expenditure.

A statement from the Ministry of Transport blamed the previous government for the rise, saying that the minister of transport in that government, Merav Michaeli, and the minister of finance, Avigdor Liberman, had signed the relevant ordinance.

The ministry’s statement added: "From the moment that Minister of Transport Regev was informed of the situation, she has been working together with Minister of Finance Smotrich to defer the decree, and to find a solution to the rise in the price of public transport forced on us from the previous government and due to apply from July 1. It is inconceivable that with the current cost of living, public transport fares will rise by 12%. As is known, Minister Regev has made a decision to lower public transport fares through her ‘Transport Justice’ plan, which will lead to a reduction in fares from this September."

In fact, the previous government introduced a reform of public transport fares that absorbed the rise planned at the time because of the rise in the public transport inputs index. Under that reform, "Equal Road", fares around the country were evened out. The fare for a single bus ride was set at NIS 5.50, which meant that it rose in some places and fell in others. The 20% discount for loading a Rav Kav public transport pass was abolished; discounts were given on monthly tickets in the periphery; and free travel for people aged over 75 was introduced.

After she was appointed minister of transport, and about six month after that reform was made, Miri Regev sought to introduce a new reform, under the name "Transport Justice", increasing subsidies for public transport at a cost of NIS 760 million. In the end, NIS 360 million was allocated for this purpose, at the expense of a budget earmarked for adding bus services. The fares committee, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance, has not yet met to approve this reform, which has come in for criticism from the Ministry of Finance, among other things because, the ministry claims, it will not encourage people to switch from private cars to public transport.

Former minister of transport and current Labor Party chairperson Merav Michaeli said, "Miri Regev, minister of transport and traffic jams, is again throwing public transport passengers under a bus. After trying to destroy the ‘Equal Road’ reform, which cut fares and made regular travel by public transport worthwhile, she is raising public transport fares. The citizens of Israel will pay out of their pockets for her corruption and lack of professionalism. The most incompetent minister of transport in the country’s history."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 20, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Egged bus  credit: Shlomi Yosef
Egged bus credit: Shlomi Yosef
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018