car2go Faces Shabbat Challenge from Haredim

Jerusalem’s newest car share service, car2go, is encountering pushback from the Haredi public. According to Yediot Yerushalayim, some Haredim are uncomfortable with the fact that the municipality is working with a company that operates on Shabbat.

Though the paper had only cited one Haredi political operative, he said “For the first time, the municipality is allowing the desecration of Shabbat on the streets of the cities. The political workaround of operating the car-shares through a private contractor on Shabbat will not clear the consciences of the Haredi representatives in Safra Square who allowed this process that hurts the holiness of the Shabbat in the city. The day will come when we will settle the score with them.”

In response, car2go emphasized that they went to great lengths to not disrupt Shabbat in Haredi neighborhoods. Furthermore, according to the company, the only phone calls taken on the holy day are emergency calls that are handled by representatives in Tel Aviv.

The timing of the protest coincides with car2go looking to expand its service to Haredi neighborhoods. Currently, these neighborhoods are serviced by City Car. As elections near, it will be important to current council members to preserve their base, something that could lead to more problems the company.

At its initial launch, car2go made 17 cars available to Jerusalemites.

(Header Photo by Guy Asiag)

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