Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Bus Routes Between Jerusalem and Binyamin-Shomron Will Force More Tremping (Hitchhiking)

On one hand I can't argue with the numbers, because the massive overhaul in the public transportation between Jerusalem and the Jewish communities of Samaria and Benjamin, where I live, will have more buses, more routes, which will be more frequent etc.
New W. Bank bus lines to offer better service, security
(the Jerusalem Post's headline)
But like many seemingly good deals, this one has some tricks and lots of disadvantages. The rationale behind it, according to the article, is "security" by making "tremping" unnecessary, but that's the one thing it doesn't give us.

A big advantage to taking the bus, especially before a long trip of an hour or more, is that you can go to the bus station, a closed building, with toilets and shelter from the elements. With this new plan, we must wait outdoors. The nearby to the new bus stops' Pisgat Ze'ev Mall usually has a line to get in and the trip from Pisgat Ze'ev by train to the Central Bus Station, if anyone needs to travel to or from another Israeli city can take about an hour by the "lightrail." It can even take more when you take into account waiting for the train and the walk from the train to the bus station. The train isn't a direct route. It goes through Arab neighborhoods and there have been attacks there of late. At present there isn't a direct bus route from the Pisgat Zeev Mall to the CBS. That means taking a couple of buses, and even though our ticket will give us a transfer for 90 minutes, those 90 minutes will probably be finished by the time we need the local Jerusalem bus. And also many of the Shomron and northern Binyamin destinations/starting points are more than a 90 minutes ride.

If we have to stand outside waiting for a bus, we may as well choose to wait where we also have an option for a "tremp," like the boys when they were kidnapped by terrorists.

And another big draw to tremping is the fact that our last bus home is only at 10pm from Pisgat Ze'ev. At present it's 11:30, and there's a 10:30, also. To get to that 10pm bus, we have to leave the more central parts of Jerusalem well before 9:30, so more and more people will be forced to hitchhike home.

So, to put it mildly, the Ministry of Transportation and Egged management and our hapless local leaders are conning us and endangering us.

No surprise.  They all get cars from work.


Anonymous said...

Batya, thanks for giving the "tachlis" on this new arrangement. For non Hebrew speakers or those not on list serves, there isn't much information on what's going on. As usual your comments are quick and to the point! I agree completely, unless you are in Pisgat Ze'ev, the new system will be completely inconvenient and a help to know one. Unfortunately for those of us with babies or toddlers tremping is still a long shot. Which means we are forced into using more money to compensate for the ticket that won't get us where we need to go on the first round and it will also take more time. I was also told that we will need an anonymous card for part of the journey now, because the card we use for out here won't work with the card in town. Do you know anything about that? While more busses added to the schedule is nice, and will be great for the first leg of the journey, I don't know that it makes up for the rest. Maybe the people who planned this new arrangement should be required to experience it as well!

Hillel Levin said...

let us also not forget that this change was designed to dovetail into the Light Rail. So we ride in armored buses in the shomron and then we get into the light rail cars which have seen 100s of rock and molitov attacks in the past 6 months that have knocked 40% of these train cars out of commission.

Batya said...

Eliana, yes, this is very difficult. We will just have to fight it and adjust.
Hillel, what about the terror attacks on the lightrail?

goyisherebbe said...

No new service was added to our yishuv, Kochav Hashachar. We have several buses a day which travel a long route and go through other yishuvim. We have no bus late at night. The night buses to Beit El and Ofra will help people, especially kids going to night events or partying. But it doesn't help us.

Batya said...

Are you sure?