Adding Arabic to Signs at Public Transport Stations


As a part of a welcome policy change adopted by the Ministry of Transportation to increase the accessibility and convenience of public transportation, the Transport Ordinance was amended in 2010 to more effectively regulate public transport information. This included the formation of a national information center for public transportation, increased signage and information at bus and taxi stations, the introduction of electronic signs at stations and the provision of free customer information.


In recent months we have seen this policy start to take effect in several cities throughout Israel with the construction of traditional and electronic signage. However, these changes almost completely exclude Arabic. ACRI has contacted the Ministry of Transportation to demand that information in Arabic be included in new signs and that Arabic information be distributed at public transport stations. ACRI Attorney Nisreen Alyan emphasized in the correspondence the prohibition on discriminating in the provision of services and the right to equality for all Israeli citizens.


In response to our inquiry, the Ministry of Transportation claimed that efforts are being made to improve the accessibility of information to passengers in Arabic. During 2015, 100 electronic signs with information appearing in Arabic are due to be installed in 12 Arab cities; 5,000 traditional signs are due to be erected at bus stops; and access to information in Arabic  online, via mobile applications and through telephone calls are due to be implemented by early 2016.


ACRI subsequently responded to the ministry to assert that these measures to integrate Arabic language information within public transportation signage are too few and are being implemented too slowly. ACRI requested that the ministry provide information regarding what steps it intends to take to significantly shorten the period of preparation to improve access to Arabic information on electronic media, what the schedules are for the installation of Arabic signage at public transportation stations, and what budgets have been allocated for this purpose. Furthermore, ACRI has requested that the current policy of installing signs without Arabic information be terminated in order to reduce the need at a later time to remove the signs to replace them with new Arabic-inclusive ones.


Additional Information

To view the correspondence (in Hebrew), click here.


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Categories: Arab Citizens of Israel, Arab Minority Rights


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