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...