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Dec 26, 2010

Payment Problems On Mehadrin Bus Lines

A while back I wrote a post pointing to a debate in a Knesset committee on transportation issues, specifically the issue of having someone other than the bus driver deal with receiving payment. During the discussion, the protocols of the meeting recorded, the CEO of Superbus was invited to discuss some issues. During his talk he mentioned that there is a certain percentage of riders that avoid paying for the ride. He then said that they need to run a mehadrin bus line in bet Shemesh (the #11), and he said that on the mehadrin line the percentage of people who avoid paying is much higher. he said 30%, if I remember correctly.

After the post, some commenters, both here and in another forum where the issue was discussed, accused the CEO of making the number up and really the percentage shouls be lower than on the general lines, and how can we trust him, he is intentionally makign it up to make the frum community look bad, etc.

The following notice was published in a weekly advertising book from RS B, the main clientele of the mehadrin bus line. 


I would like to point out that 6 out of the 8 points of the notice, plus a reminder on the bottom, along with a personal note written by Rav Kopshitz, are about the specific issue reminding everyone that they have to pay and cannot ride for free, cannot intend to pay later, etc.

While perhaps 30% was an exaggerated number (I dont know if it is or is not, but am willing to accept that it is), it is obviously high enough that they feel the need to put out advertising reminders about the serious need to pay.

I think this notice, and I have seen them publish it a few times recently, shows that payment ont he mehadrin lines has become a serious problem.

At the same time, Kol Hakavod to them for dealing with it. They want the mehadrin line to continue and are doing what they feel necessary to make sure it works, rather than just saying everyone pays and it is not out problem.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, indeed. Kol HaKavod to them for perpetuating a definition of "mehadrin" that, in its single-minded focus on perceived modesty issues, conveniently ignores outright theft.

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  2. When female members of my family have ridden the line, they have come to me afterwards and asked "why do we pay, the other girls don't?"

    Now I'm not going to accuse the community of organized genava. But I am going to say that having only 1 payment point with 2 entrances doesn't work and leads to the belief that the rear entrance doesn't require payment.

    And yes, it IS a very serious problem when chumrot cause a violation of halachot.

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  3. Rafi, the last line of your post bothers me.
    You wrote,
    "They want the mehadrin line to continue and are doing what they feel necessary to make sure it works, rather than just saying everyone pays and it is not out problem."

    Do you think that R. Kopshitz is reminding people to pay, because he is afraid that otherwise the mehadrin line will be cancelled? Perhaps, he is legitimately concerned about theft/fraud just as he is concerned about modesty. Do you really think that the cheating would not bother him other than the fact that the mehadrin line would be cancelled?
    And then you say kol hakavod to him. If, and I believe this is at least part of it, he is really concerned about the theft, then we can say kol hakavod to him. Although, I think that even there it is exaggerated, because this is the most basic obligation of a rabbinic leader to try to encourage their followers to act properly.

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  4. all of the above, but I would assume, and dont know this to be true but am assuming, that the only reason this came to light was because they probably threatened to shut down the line if they community did not pressure its people to pay properly.
    Yes, I am sure he is very concerned that his people pay up the way they should, but the source of the notice is probably from the bus line perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember this subject came up before, and Superbus had a solution by having a payment point for the card at the back entrance. If that is not working, I can only repeat what you Rafi mentioned then, that it is a complete Chillul Hashem to perpetuate a sin MeDuraita - genayva and be makpid on a chumra (Mehadrin). OF course, this is not the only instance. Remember the factory discovered recently which was making fake teudot zehut, in order to get increased funding for the yeshiva in Jerusalem. A complete and utter Chillul Hashem.

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  6. Who remembers this line from Home Alone: Quick! Kevin! Get a plate....bleeeech!

    That's how I feel when I read stories like this.

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  7. C'mon Akiva, that's a bit too much of a kvetch for an excuse. How is it that for decades I rode regular Dan or Egged buses, and the passengers (women with strollers, people with lots of groceries) who got on in the middle/back would simply pass forward their cartisia or cash? How is it even possible in a community that SUPPOSEDLY lives by Hoshen Mishpat that people don't know they're expected to pay for the use of someone else's property-in this case the commercially run bus line? There is a serious illness in the hareidi community that threatens to spread more widely every day; but we'll just pretend it isn't really happening. Where will that lead?

    Having someone collect at the back will cut down on the THEFT drastically; but it doesn't address the underlying problem which grows worse every day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with Mordechai. Over the past 2 decades, the once-European attitudes of us versus them/goyim have completely pervaded even the moderate Israeli charedi society.

    ReplyDelete

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