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Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Death of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station

Cross-posted on me-ander 

I used to love the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, because it was a lot more than just a bus stop. The present building is relatively new, having been totally rebuilt and only opened in late 2001. It was/is a small, easy to navigate mall, with buses and a synagogue (that even has a room for women to doven or say Tihillim, psalms,) shops and food places of all sorts. It used to be pleasant enough as a mall just to go in to shop or eat.

I had heard all the reports about the high levels of air pollution and the fact that it hadn't been planned well, but that was more a danger to those who worked there, who spent hours there day after day. For the traveler or shopper there was always less danger.

But just under a year ago we, travelers to and from Judea and Samaria were totally banished from there. OK, we can go and take a bus to Sderot or Tel Aviv, but we can't take a bus to Shiloh or Tel Tzion.

A few weeks ago, I had some free time and decided to walk in. I must say that I was shocked. Even though the bus station is relatively new, it looked like a dump.




Not even the clock works! A bus station should have clocks, working clocks, all over, in every direction.




And this electric board that used to give me information about buses to all over the country is dead. How could there be no basic maintenance in a building as important as the Jerusalem Central Bus Station?


Do you see the "No Signal" sign?

In its heyday, when all the platforms were being used by a number of lines, the area on the right of this picture would have been lit up with information about the schedules. Now it's dark.

Fewer bus lines means fewer passenger which means fewer customers for the stores meaning that it gets harder to rent them out.

The CBS as the signs call it, looked dark and dreary. Maybe it has no future...

16 comments:

Neshama said...

i entered this new station and was appalled by the gashmius attacking you from every where you walked. and im sorry to say the fumes from gasoline from the buses caused me to gag. this was an awful creation, not modern, cluttered with too many eateries and other things. i hope they create something more middle eastern, open and airy.

what happened to your buses? you didnt say.

Batya Medad said...

Sorry Neshama, but open and airy doesn't keep out the rain. We had open bus stations, and they were awful.
I wrote about it here http://me-ander.blogspot.co.il/2014/12/bus-protest-at-benjamin-regional.html

Netivotgirl said...

I never use the CBS as a traveling point as I only go to and from Netivot and Tel Tzion, both with stations outside so I am shocked by this information. To be honest, I enjoy the shops there. However, to have such a new structure already showing this neglect is terrible. Why don't you send a copy of this blog to the authorities Batya? It just might wake somebody up!!

Debbie Dan said...

I SO miss the convenience of the CBS-bathrooms, protection from hot, cold rainy weather, food, drink, etc, etc...it's simply not fair!!!!!

Batya Medad said...

Debbie, it's awful, at least you do have more buses and are closer to Center 1. I wonder what they are planning for us in Sha'ar Binyamin.
Esther, good idea

Eliana Cudo said...

When I was in Israel earlier this year I was appalled as I tried to plan trips and found that service had changed...immensely.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

The 160 to Kiryat Arba/Chevron still leaves from the CBS. The other lines were "banished" because they are no longer Egged--they are Egged Ta'avura. There's something weird about Egged Ta'avura and I'm glad that the changeover for Har Chevron hasn't happened yet, even though in theory it means more frequent buses for us.
I still like the CBS: Dabri Shir is a great store, for example. And Zebra is a great store too, especially with a kartis mo'adon. I get my son's jeans there. They are good enough quality and only cost 50 shekels a pair.
It does bother me that none, and I mean NONE of the signs that indicate bus schedules work but it might be because everyone uses their phones now, and only a very few of us don't have smart-enough phones for Moovit or other apps.
That clock has never worked. It used to run backwards at high speed, and was a source of much amusement for us.
I go through the CBS anywhere from once to 4 times a week. It still has a lot to recommend it.

Batya Medad said...

I did not know. Shiloh id the ssme distance and Ariel further.

Marion Rosen said...

The CBS started going downhill when they started charging for using the bathrooms...in conjunction with the interminable security checks. Though the security is no longer horrific the stores don't have the customer base of "facilities users" and the constant closing of stores hurts the other merchants. The only places still doing a booming business are those on the food court.

Batya Medad said...

Not all the wc's charged, but they were all disgusting and still are no doubt. Center 1 has free ones, which are much nicer. Security checks didn't bother me all that much, but I can't understand why the electric boards aren't working. That is the real scandal. And why haven't they fixed or removed the clock? The best place upstairs is the Cafenet with its clocks and reasonable food.
Basic maintenance should be required by the owners of the mall and Egged.

Lisa said...

I miss the old Tachana Merkazit. I really do.

Batya Medad said...

Lisa, which old one? There have been many.

Miriam said...

We in Netivot who take the 492 have also been banished from the bus station. We now have to get the bus 2 blocks away from the bus station walking up a very steep hill. Without any shade or place to sit and wait for the bus it really isn't very pleasant at all.

Miriam

Batya Medad said...

How awful. Which company?

Lisa said...

Batya, truth be told, I even miss the interim one they had up closer to Machane Yehuda while they were building this one. But I meant the one that used to be where the Monster Mall is now. It was heimish. This thing is so overdone.

Batya Medad said...

I really used to like this CBS. It saddens me that it looks like a dump without basic services.