Egged bus 74 normal day 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Bus No. 74 wound its way through the gray and rainy Jerusalem streets on
Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours after another No. 74 was damaged at its
stop at the central bus station.
For many residents of the capital, the
image of a bus with broken windows surrounded by ambulances had awakened
memories they’d tried hard to forget.
Many of the passengers on the bus
Thursday had stories of close calls with Wednesday’s terror attack.
left my apartment around that time but got held up by a few things, so I took
the one right afterwards,” said 23-year-old Adi Cohen.
“I definitely felt
like it was a miracle,” she said.
The bus driver, who declined to give
his name, said he was scheduled to work the afternoon shift, but at the last
minute changed with a coworker and instead worked the evening shift. He said
that Wednesday evening the No. 74 line was almost completely empty, but by
Thursday it had returned to normal rainy-day levels.
“I love the 74 line,
I’ll never leave it,” said the driver, a 20- year veteran of Egged. “You get so
many different types of people.”
The driver of the bus damaged in
Wednesday’s attack was not hurt, but he was being treated for shock, said
“I feel fine, maybe because lightning doesn’t strike
twice in the same place,” said Efrat resident Marcel Margolis as he boarded the
bus in the downtown area, summing up the feelings of many of the
“It was out of the blue yesterday, but now people are a bit
more wary, looking around a bit more,” he said.
He added that the visibly
increased police presence also made him feel safer.
“At the end of the
day, if you have faith, you have faith. This is life in Jerusalem,” said
“It’s scary when it’s so close, but it’s so amazing that it
happened yesterday and already we’re back to the routine, back to continuing our
normal lives,” said Cohen. “We have to continue, we need to remember [the
victims] as well, but we don’t need to stop our lives.”
Driving past the
site of the terrorist attack on Thursday was a little jarring, the driver
“You look at it and you think ‘I work here every day, this could
have been me,’” he said.
Still, the driver said Wednesday’s attack didn’t
compare to the terrible days of the second intifada, and he was doing his best
to stay upbeat.
“It’s actually much more dangerous on Agrippas,” he said
as he drove along the busy road next to the Mahaneh Yehuda market, as
pedestrians darting across the road narrowly missed being hit by taxis and
squeezed in between buses.
“It’s a different type of danger, but it can
be just as dangerous as a suspicious package,” he said.
Two Egged drivers
were harassed yesterday, the driver said, when they drove into haredi
neighborhoods and residents thought the drivers were Arabs, even though both
were actually Jewish.
In Har Homa, residents threw eggs at the driver as
he was finishing his route, also on the No. 74. In Ramat Shlomo, residents threw
rocks at the bus.