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The Use Of Free Century Village Buses on Shabbat and Yom Tov for  Those With Medical Limitations

Please listen to Rabbi Yasgur's presentation:



Please read the guidelines below (4 pages) - get to the next page by clicking on the page when you are done reading each one.



One of the bonuses of living in Century Village is the ability, for those who are halachicly qualified, to use the Village buses on Shabbat & Yom Tov. This heter (permission) applies when doing so is connected to fulfilling the purpose of a mitzvah, such as davening in Shul or accepting a Shabbat lunch invitation. I take this opportunity to share selected reminders for the use of the buses.


It must be emphasized that the heter (permission) to use the Village buses is extended only to people who are not physically able to walk to shul.

This heter:

Does NOT include a healthy person, with full walking capacity, who had a Shabbos lunch invitation, stayed for extra Divrai Torah and is now running late to get back to shul for a shiur or for Mincha. Such a person MAY NOT ride the bus.

Does NOT allow someone to escape the rain by taking the bus.

Does NOT allow someone to take the bus out of the village.

Does NOT allow a person who has the opportunity and finances to buy/rent a condo within a distance he/she could walk to Shul, to rely on the bus heter and establish one’s residence beyond one’s walking capacity.


All those seeking to use the bus heter should consult with Rabbi Yasgur or an alternate halachic authority to explore one’s extenuating circumstances and to confirm eligibility to rely on the heter.


The heter permits a Jew, who has experienced a reduction in his/her physical abilities, to benefit from labor activities of a non-Jew. The drivers of the Century Village buses have been non-Jews. However, there are recent reports of very occasional substitute drivers who are Jewish. When a bus is driven by a Jew, one is not allowed to ride that bus. 

I spoke with a Village transportation official. He said the department is not able to predict when they will need substitutes. Nevertheless, the two reports I received were on a weekend connected to either a secular holiday or a non-Jewish holiday observance. One should use extra discretion on such days.

As the overwhelming percentage of drivers are not Jews, we may assume the driver is approved per the guidelines of the bus heter, unless there is reason to suspect otherwise. In such a case, a brief conversation with the driver may help to clarify the concern. As I mentioned above, heightened awareness would be appropriate on Shabbatot which are connected to either a secular holiday weekend or a non-Jewish holiday observance.


It is the driver of the bus who has the active responsibility to manage the speed and direction of the bus. The passenger is a passive beneficiary. Village guidelines for passengers instruct riders to sound the buzzer to alert the drivers of their stop.

One is NOT permitted to sound the buzzer on Shabbat or Yom Tov.

The Cen West has been most understanding of our halachic guidelines and has alerted their drivers that many of the passengers will not sound the buzzer on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Occasionally, there are drivers who may not know of the accommodation for observant passengers. Should you encounter such an experience, please gently inform the dispatcher.

The buzzer problem is usually a concern on the return trip. When returning home from shul on Shabbat or Yom Tov, inform the driver of your stop. It is preferable to use an indirect hint to the driver. For example: “I am going to Lincoln B”. If this does not succeed, one may directly ask the driver to stop at your designated station.

Under NO circumstances should one get out of a seat while the bus is in motion and walk over to speak with the driver.

Tue, July 16 2024 10 Tammuz 5784