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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Millions of Israelis Forced to Hitchhike or Stay Home-- Bus Drivers Striking!

The Egged bus company, Israel's largest, has been playing a trick to save itself lots of money. It started a "new company" called Egged Taavura with buses painted a bit differently and drivers paid a lot less. In my neck of the woods, Shiloh, north of Jerusalem in Samaria, they also made major changes in our bus routes by taking all of the Egged Taavura buses out of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and even having our "Jerusalem stop" in the most northernmost neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev. It also means that we must wait on a street for the bus, rather than in a protected building, even during rain, storms and terrible heat.

We, the passengers, now have to take multiple buses to get to most anyplace, and the drivers have lost their hub, where they could easily get some food between runs and do something as mundane as use a toilet.
“Due to the poor conditions the company finds it difficult to recruit drivers and the existing staff is cracking under the strain,” he added. 
The company’s management has not yet issued a response.
The full list of lines scheduled to be on strike is as follows: 
  • Intracity lines within: the Netanya area, the Ashdod area, the Ashkelon area, the Elad area, the Shfirim area, and the northern Negev;
  • Service from Ashkelon to Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon to Kiryat Gat, and Ashkelon to Ofakim;
  • Service between Jerusalem and Mevaseret, Jerusalem and Givat Ze’ev, Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim, Jerusalem and the Binyamin region of Samaria, Jerusalem and the remainder of Samaria, Modi’in and the Binyamin region, and the “fast lines” from Modi’in to Jerusalem – lines 100, 101, 102; and
  • Internal lines within Samaria. 
The only ones happy are Egged! They claim they've done if for our benefit, since at least on paper, we have more frequent buses.

Although there have been threats of passenger strikes, we bus travelers are too dependent on public transportation to actually do it, but the drivers are angry enough to stay home, and today is supposed to be the beginning of a two day strike!

Some people who generally take buses do have cars they can use, but there are those like myself and my husband who don't. And even if we did have a car, we have very different schedules. 

I must go to Jerusalem this morning. So I'm finishing this post right now and pray that I will make my appointment on time and get there and back home safely.


Anonymous said...

Batya, sending up a prayer to Hashem.

May you get to where you are going, safe and sound. Amen.

Hashem bless you.


Debbie Dan said...

I'm not even trying to get a tremp in this morning from Betel which I know I could do because of the return trip in such HOT weather which will be later....to even think of standing in the hot sun with lots of people waiting...for this "senior citizen" is just too overwhelming! I would like Egged back with their once an hour buses from the bus station as opposed to the present situation!

Batya Medad said...

Debbie I had no choice so gave mysrlf extra time. Gd willing will also return home safely.
n thanks. Your prayer must be powerful. So far on schedule.

Anonymous said...

I hope Batya.. :)

I mean that please Hashem - i hope and pray that Hashem hears my prayers..

But your pure beautiful faith, is what Hashem sees, along with our prayers. His Wings are sheltering you, and all those trying to go where they are. May Hashem protect each of them too. Amen.

Wish i was there. :)

Batya Medad said...

Thank Gd my traveling went well