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Feb 4, 2010

judge seems to be leaning against mehadrin buses

Many are taking the words of Transportation Minister Yaakov Katz in support of unofficially mandating the mehadrin buses operation as a sign of success.

As I mentioned then, it is simply the statement of a position. It is not up to the Transportation Ministry to decide. It is up to the courts. Katz's opinion might have weight in the decision, but it alone is not a decision.

There is a feeling in the Haredi press that Katz's words are the final say. In this week's Eidah weekly newspaper, for example, their article on the issue states that the mehadrin buses have won the battle and those who oppose them have lost.

They will be disturbed to hear that in a meeting today in Supreme Court about the mehadrin bus situation, one of the judges on the panel responded to the government representative, after the rep stated the ministers position on the matter and that signs could be placed around telling people where it is recommended they sit, very sharply. he cynically asked if they could also put up signs telling people not to get violent if someone sits in the wrong area and if that would solve all the problems with the mehadrin buses....

While no decision has been made, it is way too early for anyone to celebrate (one way or the other) thinking themselves victorious. At least one judge on the panel seems to be against it...


  1. chaval we need secular courts to keep us in line but I'm glad the judge said that.

  2. As much as I'm not in favour of mehadrin buses for all the reasons discussed yesterday, I'm also not in favour of this being up to the courts. Why is this a question of legality? If a company wants to provide this service where there is a demand, why should this be prohibited? It's a business decision.

    Unless I didn't understand the situation. If it's that the mehadrin'ites are demanding that by law, bus companies MUST provide this service even if they wouldn't choose to otherwise, then that's a different story. Then they'd need the courts to rule that they are not obligated to provide this service, and in that case I'd be in favour of it going to the courts.

  3. It's because the Israeli govt has things set up so that bus companies must have govt approval to run a line. Approval includes (a) granting each company a monopoly for its own lines and (b) requiring approval for variations in any lines (e.g. that a line only sometimes includes one street, or that it sometimes requires women to sit at the back).

    Would it be better for bus companies to duel it out on the free market, and let public transportation suffer due to competition and the resultant occasional turf wars? Not a simple question.


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