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May 27, 2014

no more free rides.. from the Kotel

If you are a regular visitor to the Kotel on Shabbos, you have ridden your last free ride on Egged...

The Ministry of Transportation has announced that as of this Motzei Shabbos there will no longer be free bus rides from the Kotel.

Until now, the first buses on Motzei Shabbos let passengers ride without paying, taking into consideration that people had walked to the Kotel on Shabbos and would not have money on them to pay for the ride. Passengers were expected to pay later.

According to the MoT, most passengers never returned to pay for the Motzei Shabbos rides.

Haredi MKs have asked Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transportation, to revoke the decision and to allow the previous arrangements to continue.
source: INN and Ladaat

did they really mostly not pay? maybe a lot of people have chofshi chodshi passes? maybe bus drivers would take the money and just mark it as a ride - how would the main office know what ride was paid for at a later time in the week and what ride was not paid for?

Perhaps, but with the current belief being that most people did not pay, I would like to see Gafni and company not just ask to allow the current situation to continue but to also offer to run a campaign to raise awareness of the need to pay later...

For now, at least, starting this Motzei Shabbos, plan to walk home from the Kotel, or make alternate arrangements...

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  1. This post epitomizes why this is such a good blog:

    1. An interesting story of interest to most readers (I assume), but which might have gone under the radar for a lot of people.
    2. No knee-jerk anti-charedi reaction.
    3. No knee-jerk anti-government reaction.

    Instead, some interesting possibilities raised, and a reasonable suggestion offerred.

    Nice job.

  2. I feel it is is the correct decision. Egged rightly feel they have been taken advanatage of, and no one is going to be a frier and pay of course. On the other hand there should be some arrangement for people to be able to have a free ride after Shabbat. The solution: it should not depend on Egged at all. It should be taken care of by the Jerusalem iriya, or Ministry of Religious Services who are responsible for the kotel. They should pay Egged.

  3. Meir S: On the radio this morning they said that Egged is willing to continue the practice and it's the Ministry of Transportation that is forcing them to stop. I think it's a good PR gesture and as a private company Egged should be allowed to continue, even if the MoT claims they're not getting paid during the week. Look how much Egged spends on advertising in the chareidi sector, many times over what it costs them to send a few buses on Motzei Shabbat. I don't really understand how the MoT can make them stop this practice. Is it because Egged receives subsidies from the government?


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