Modi'in appeals to Ministry to fix faulty new bus service

Gov't pledges massive bus delays will be solved soon.

bus 88 (photo credit: )
bus 88
(photo credit: )
Deluged by complaints, the Modi'in municipality has appealed to the Transportation Ministry to immediately intervene to help solve major city bus problems following last week's inauguration of a new bus service in the city, the municipality said Tuesday. The problems began a week ago when the Connex bus company took over the Modi'in city and intercity routes previously run by the Margalit bus company after buying out Margalit. The launching of the new bus service last Wednesday prompted massive delays in service on multiple routes, with passengers left waiting at bus stops for hours for buses that never came or which were too full to take on new passengers, city residents said. The delays have continued unabated for the past week, the residents said. A city spokeswoman said Tuesday that the municipality has held daily meetings with senior officials in the bus company as well as its director general, and that city officials were passing on the complaints of city residents. The city said that it asked the Transportation Ministry, which is responsible for public transportation, to immediately intervene and solve the problems caused by the inauguration of the new bus service. The city spokeswoman added that the bus company did not sign any agreement with the city, but rather with the Transportation Ministry, which is charged with oversight of the company. Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said Tuesday that most of the problems had been sorted out, and that the rest would be solved soon. "The Connex bus company prepared in advance of the inauguration of service but, by the nature of things, there are problems that accompany every entry of a company which is in the process of learning the passengers' needs," he said in a written response. He added that the "credible" company had proven itself in other cities in Israel, noting that the bus company was offering free bus service for the next three days to compensate for the inconvenience. A Connex spokesman previously said that the problems lasted through only the first two days of service, an assertion contradicted by multiple irate city residents. Meanwhile, some frustrated residents of the sprawling commuter city, located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, may get some reprieve next month with the inauguration of a new train service to Tel Aviv.