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Jan 13, 2009

Superbus, haredim, and schedules

And in other, non-war related news, let's revisit the Superbus status.

I continue to hear horror stories from people about buses that never showed up or buses that show up extremely late. there are also the stories of the smart card problems causing delays or not working...

Personally I tried again to take the Superbus #12 line home from the station the other day. The bus came to the first stop just a couple of minutes late. After that it was a pretty smooth ride, and the timing was very reasonable. As long as the bus shows up, it can definitely be considered a viable option. In the morning however, the schedule leaves a lot to be desired, as it is not coordinated at all with the train schedule. To take a bus in the morning to the train station, I would have to take one that gets me to the train station 25 minutes or so before the train..

In other Superbus news, the following ad was in the haredi adbook "Afarsimon" this week.

It says the #11 bus line is running as a mehadrin line with womens' seating being in the back. What is interesting about it is that it says that "until a hole puncher is placed in the back of the bus (note: obviously so the women will not need to go to the front to get their cards punched - they can do it themselves using the honor system), there will either be an usher standing in the back to accept payment, or a child should be sent to the front to pay."

Considering the new system Superbus is using has done away with the old-fashioned bus tickets, I wonder what good a hole puncher in the back of the bus will do. They are going to punch holes in their smart cards?

The #11 line is one that goes solely through the haredi areas of Bet Shemesh. Another note about the #11 line is one that was published in the Chadash this past week. It complained that people have no idea where the stops are, people have no idea which direction is the beginning of the route and which is the end of the route, and Superbus has not been good about getting out the information. It described situations, it claimed many such incidents, where people got on the bus meaning to go to one side of the city and ended up on the other side.

What is ironic is that in the same article, it quoted Rav Kopshitz who insisted that Superbus not generally publicize any info about the #11 bus. he wants the general public to know as little about its route and schedule as possible so nobody from the general public will use it. He demanded that Superbus publish information packets for the 11 bus separately and distribute them only in the haredi areas.

So publishing the info is bad, and then because they don't, people end up going all sorts of places they had no interest in going to, and wait a lot of extra time for buses because the schedules are not readily available.

That is it for this week's Superbus status update..


  1. Based on recent lousy performance (eg the bus broke down on a traffic circle last night and refused to restart - I had to drive down and pick up my stranded husband) from now on, we are renaming this the: Mediocrebus, or Ratherpoorbus. (And these are the printable suggestions)

  2. I did not see him on my train. I had a ride home last night, though our bus ride together the other night was enjoyable....

    hey - at least you only had to go halfway to get him, and not go all the way to the train!

  3. I tried to call Superbus, but, as usual, there's no answer.

    If anyone wants to contact them, the Bet Shemesh office is 02-991-1758, and the national number is 08-920-5005 .

  4. have to start agreeing at this point. I was prepared to give them time to get settled in, but it seems to be getting worse not better.

  5. Despite my dislike for the electronic cards (since they're slower and more awkward to use than the paper cards), I am pleased with the (slightly) lower prices and more frequent intra-city buses that Superbus is providing.

    My fear is that soon they'll reduce the frequency of the buses to what Egged had, leaving us with just the slower procedures...

  6. Do they have a website where they post schedules?
    in terms of what Mike Miller commented, i will add that its up to them: if they improve the lines, then people will ride them and they wont need to cut out. if they dont, people will continue not riding them.
    makes sense, no?

  7. Interestingly, in Modi'in Alit (which is a Charedi town), superbus has been serving the community, and there has been no talk about "Mehadrin" lines.

    I once asked one of the residents who told me that as a mother of several childres, there is no way she could manage getting her kids on and off the bus using the back door and then deal with payment. Other residents tend to agree, to the best of my knowledge there have been no calls for a separate bus line.

    (I wonder if it makes a difference that the bus line serves a 100% haredi community, so there is no one on the bus innapropriately dressed or would -Heaven Forbid - attempt to sit next to a member of the opposite gender)

  8. michael - interesting thought...

    whats - http://superbus.co.il/

  9. Haven't had a chance to ride the bus, but given the number of new lines and the observable increase in the number of buses I don't see how it can be worse than what was here before.

    My son got a really nice route map when he got his card. It shows the route of the secret 11 bus. According to the map it goes through Hefsiba, the Kirya, RBS B, and RBS A. I know many residents of RBS A who are not willing to concede that it is a solely Chareidi neighborhood. Also, there's no indication on the map that it's a "mehadrin" line.

    I think, if accurate, Rabbi Kopshitz's comments are despicable.


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