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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Make Tremping aka Hitchhiking Safer

Tremping aka hitchhiking is here to stay, as far as I'm concerned. Actually I just used that lovely method of semi-private transportation to get home from Jerusalem today. I took two buses from the shuk, Machane Yehuda to the "city line," the border of Jerusalem and the Benjamin Regional Council, where I quickly caught a ride going to Givat Harel, which is across from the Shiloh Junction, then a second ride to the Shvut Rachel-Shiloh Junction and then a ride to my street.

It was daylight, a bright afternoon and I could see the drivers, and they could see me.

One of the big problems is when you really can't see who's driving or waiting, because it's dark. And some places aren't lit all that well, so the drivers can't see who's waiting. And I understand why they don't stop. I wouldn't stop for someone if I couldn't see exactly who it is. And another equally dangerous situation is when you can't see at all who is driving up, nor see the color of the license plate. I once came home via Ariel at night and got a tremp that was going to Eli. I thought it would be fine, like waiting at the Ofra Junction, which I do a lot even at night. There is enough light there so we can see who is pulling up or driving by. Waiting across from Eli I couldn't see anything of the cars coming from Ariel or Tapuach. It wasn't pleasant. And I know that the majority of cars on the road are Arab, so I ignored all the cars from that direction. Finally a car came out of Eli in the direction of Shiloh and stopped for me.

There must be better light at all of the junctions where people wait, and the light mustn't only be on the trempistim, those waiting for rides or buses. They must also project onto the cars, so we can see who is driving and who is with him/her. Just like bright lights make some bugs scamper away, I have no doubt that the terrorists won't like being under a spotlight.


Ruth J. Lieberman said...

We've been calling it ride-sharing over here, so the international audience can better understand that it is a way of life, and one that reflects something very positive. our ride-share program, if you will. yasher koach.

Batya Medad said...

Ride sharing is a nice euphemism, but it really means that car owners take turns. Tremping which I prefer rather than hitchhiking is a community self-help or sharing service. We each give what we have extra, like an empty seat in the car, while someone else may deliver a package or put a bank envelope in the bank deposit or prepare a meal for those who need.

lisa said...

though I usually drive, B"H, I know that for those with smartphones, our yishuv forum is constantly being used by folks looking for rides. they keep appearing, so it must be working!

Batya Medad said...

lisa, we also use our email list to offer and request rides aka tremps. Personally, I've found it amazingly helpful.

AMJ said...

Batya, I think you are absolutely right about the lighting. I have waited at that trempiada across from Eli and I went back across the highway in broad daylight as I still wasn't comfortable with who might stop. In the dark it is even worse. Having light would also provide practical safety as well, since so many people feel the need to be in the middle of the street to get a tremp. As for tremping, how can we live without it? It is part of the heart and soul of our community. The kindness of neighbors and strangers alike is part of who we are. Getting a tremp from both fellow Shiloites and other yishuvim "neighbors" has been a welcome rescue more than once!

Batya Medad said...

AMJ that spot isn't as easy as others. I always tell people not yo wait in the street.