After decades of limited access to public transportation, Arab communities in the Galilee will soon have access to new bus routes and trains thanks to ALLMEP member Sikkuy’s work for their equal access to transportation.
Next week, two new stations will be opened in Karmiel and Ahihud, which will enable hundreds of thousands of Galilee residents to reach Tel Aviv and the center of the country within an hour and a half. This will greatly improve access to public transportation for Arab communities that have historically struggled with reaching different parts of the region because of discrimination in the transportation sector.
Although this is a great step forward, until recently, there was a great deal of uncertainty regarding the rights of more than 100,000 residents in the many Arab communities in the area of the line, and whether they would receive the same benefits and services as other communities.
In an effort to end the uncertainty regarding these Arab communities’ equal access to the new lines, Sikkuy contacted the Transportation Ministry and called on the ministry to provide the same benefits to the Arab communities as the Jewish residents of Karmiel and the surrounding area.
Their efforts succeeded as the Ministry of Transportation announced the addition of 10 special bus lines and the change of existing lines arriving from the Arab communities. The Ministry has also promised that all passengers boarding the train at the Karmiel station, as well as residents from 15 Arab towns and villages, will be entitled to receive free tickets for three months and tickets at a 50% discount for two years.
After decades in which Arab citizens had limited access to public transportation, the time has come for the Israel Railways to be a means of transportation for all.
Photo Credit: Sikkuy
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