Public transport forum warns of switching to 'survival mode' in 10 days
9 June 2020 - The jerusalem post
Once this period ends, the companies will be forced to transfer to 'survival mode,' including substantial reductions to operations
A forum of public transport companies warned Transportation Minister Miri Regev in a letter on Monday that they would have to stop providing service in the next 10 days as the companies struggle to cover costs amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Public Transport Operators' Forum includes Afikim, Kavim, Metropolin, Superbus, Netiv Express, Egged Taavura and Dan South, North and Beersheba.
"After over three months of repeated requests to government officials and on the background of the drastic drop in the number of public transport users, no real answer was given that would allow public transport companies to cover operating costs and continue operating public transport in Israel," said the forum in the letter.
The forum warned that disruptions to public transport would lead to the "paralysis of the economy" as millions of Israelis and soldiers would not be able to arrive to work and bases.
"In just 10 days, (June 18, 2020), the time period will end in which the companies could continue holding their heads above the water and operating public transport on a routine format," warned the letter. "Once this period ends, the companies will be forced to transfer to 'survival mode,' including substantial reductions to operations."
"As time goes on, we understand that there was no 'exit strategy' concerning public transport," Or Grinfeld, the head of the "We, the Youth" Party in the central Israeli city of Modi'in Maccabim Reut, told The Jerusalem Post.
"Privatized public transport companies, which in the absence of the train are the only factor moving citizens from the periphery to the center, were severely impacted during the coronavirus outbreak and were not properly compensated," explained Grinfeld.