Modi'in residents irate over new bus service

Change in the service provider results in major delays, unexpected route changes, residents say.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
August 19, 2007 23:56
1 minute read.
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A change in Modi'in's bus service provider has resulted in major delays and unexpected route changes, city residents said Sunday. The problems began last Wednesday, when the Connex bus company took over the Modi'in city and intercity routes previously run by the Margalit company. The changeover has produced massive delays on several routes, with passengers left waiting for hours for buses that never came or were too full to enter, locals said. "It is a total mess," said Modi'in resident Bruce Littky, whose trip to Jerusalem, normally a 45-minute ride, took three hours. He added that the bus schedules put out by the new company were not correct, leaving those who relied on public transportation to get to other cities stranded. "You cannot even depend on the schedules they print," he said. Another denizen of the sprawling commuter city, located midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, said the problems stemmed from route changes that the company made without informing city residents. "There was no advance warning of numerous route changes," Elliott Cahan said. A Modi'in Internet site was filled with complaints about the new bus service. "Buses are not running on time, they are filling up way too early and bypassing people who have been waiting more than an hour," said Esther Falk. She said no bus schedules were available before the changover and that they were still not obtainable on the buses or posted at city bus stops. "All Connex had to do was be prepared at least three weeks before taking over and all problems could have been ironed out," she said. Connex spokesman Liran Yeskin conceded Sunday that there were problems on the first day or two of service but said they were typical of difficulties faced by companies entering a new market, and had since been fixed. The company, which operates in 30 countries, has 60 buses for 20 city and intercity routes, Yeskin said. He said Connex offered free rides to Modi'in residents on Thursday in an effort to compensate for the inconvenience, and that service should be working normally this week.

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