Photo Credit: Shabus Facebook page
Shabus station sign

Shabus – the Cooperative Transportation Association operating on Shabbat – has ceased operations in Jerusalem due to lack of a budget, Kol Ha’ir reported Monday.

An official statement issued by Shabus read: “We have been operating in Jerusalem and in other cities for five consecutive years and have served thousands of passengers. Now, the association’s management has decided, following our successful summer, to take advantage of the winter months, which are generally weaker, to innovate and improve service, alongside significant fundraising.

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“We would like to better prepare to increase our activity volume next summer, following the new organizing in Tel Aviv and after it has become clear that promises of group taxi (Sherut – DI) service on Shabbat are not going to come true. We have decided to raise new resources and not invest the Association’s resources under the current format,” the group said.

Shabus passengers riding to the beach. / Shabus Facebook page

Shabus was founded in Jerusalem in May 2015. The service has known better days, when other Israeli cities copied their initiative. Recently, several cities in metropolitan Tel Aviv, such as Ramat Gan, have launched official Shabbat public transportation.

Jerusalem city council member Laura Worton (Meretz), one of the founders of Shabus, explained the reasons for the service freeze, saying a lot of people know the Shabus name and support the initiative, but don’t visit the group’s website to stay in touch; in addition, while the group has extended the mileage covered by the buses, frequency of service remains a problem; and finally, it appears the service fails to utilize the potential tens of thousands of passengers who are out on the town Friday nights.

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