Bus-lines shift in capital’s haredi areas
6 lines canceled, 25 routes changed in reorganization of public transportation system.
Haredi bus, 'mehadrim bus' Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Bus lines in the haredi neighborhoods in the northwest of Jerusalem will change
at the end of the month as part of the multi-step transportation reforms in the
capital, the Transportation Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Six lines will
be canceled and 25 lines will be changed or created anew as transportation
officials try to restructure an aging public transportation system. The goal
behind the reforms is to replace long, winding, multi-neighborhood lines with
shorter, more efficient lines that feed into main transportation channels such
as the light rail and the bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes, transportation
On June 29, bus lines will change in the entire
northwestern quadrant of the city, including the neighborhoods of Har Nof, Givat
Shaul, Romema, Geula, Shmuel Hanavi, Ramat Eshkol, and Ramat Shlomo. The changes
are available on the city’s transportation website www.jet.gov.il, a site that
users surfing with the “kosher web” filter can still access.
transportation system hasn’t been updated in decades,” Uzi Yitzhaki, the new
director of the Transportation Ministry, said on Tuesday. The Jerusalem buses
are being changed quadrant by quadrant. Changes to bus lines in the southwest
quadrant of the city in January provoked harsh criticism, especially from
residents of Kiryat Yovel, who lost some of the direct bus lines to the center
of the city in exchange for buses that lead to the light rail.
is the largest public transportation system in the country, with approximately
half a million trips on public transportation each day in Jerusalem, Yitzhaki
The light rail accounts for around 20 percent of the trips with
100,000 trips per day.
30% of residents rely on public
Yitzhaki acknowledged the light rail is going through
“labor pains and childhood illnesses.
We know there are problems,” he
said, adding that 25 ticket inspectors on the light rail were fired after a
massive public outcry over predatory fines. The remaining ticket inspectors were
“retrained” not to act like policemen trying to catch people, Yitzhaki
Reorganizing buses in the haredi sector is challenging because the
community relies so heavily on public transportation, said Dror Ganon, the
Transportation Ministry’s senior deputy director-general for public
transportation. In addition to the regular public announcements in newspapers
and mailings, the Transportation Ministry is publicizing the bus changes at
synagogues, yeshivot, and most importantly, event halls.
“We want to make
sure every bride knows that the buses are changing on June 29,” said Ganon.
“It’d be enough for us to miss one hall where everyone misses the huppa because
the buses don’t come and everyone will be against us.”