Bus Route from Jerusalem to Bnei Brak
by Aliza Bloom
November 1, 2001
WHY EGGED/DAN ESTABLISHED THE ROUTE
Egged/Dan’s decision to establish a direct Jerusalem-Bnei Brak bus line is straight out of Adam Smith. Because charedi families are very large and most do not possess cars, they are heavy bus users. In Jerusalem, the religious Jews are estimated to constitute approximately 60% of the daily bus users. That heavy usage gives the charedi population significant market power with Egged.
In addition, the heavy concentration of charedim in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and in a relatively few Jerusalem neighborhoods, makes it feasible to operate bus lines both intercity and intracity that can compete effectively with Egged. Such a private charedi bus line was recently established between Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and charged prices less then 60% of Egged’s. To forestall such competition and the possible loss of a significant part or its ridership, Egged agreed to establish a direct line between Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.
PARTICULARS OF THE AGREEMENT
1. The price of a ticket is 15 NIS a person (25 NIS for two tickets), which is less then the 18.40 NIS per person charged from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. However, the private buses were only charging 10 NIS. Therefore Egged/Dan had to lower the price to be competitive.
2. The new bus is an express bus from Jerusalem’s religious neighborhoods to Bnei Brak. The route begins and ends near popular wedding halls in both cities, in order to provide convenient transportation for family celebrations.
3. In total 40 buses travel between Jerusalem and Bnei Brak daily.
MEN AND WOMEN ON THE BUS
1. There is no written contract with Egged/Dan specifying any code of conduct on the buses or at the ticket lines.
2. There is no rule about separate seating on the buses. In addition, women are not told to sit in the back of the bus, nor are they told to sit separately from men. News reports on both these issues were inaccurate.
3. Egged/Dan agreed to open both doors of the bus as passengers board. How people choose to board the bus is up to them.
4. In accordance with the tradition of modest interactions between men and women, the religious passengers prefer to board the bus separately. This enables them to avoid physical contact during the hustle and bustle that occurs when people get on a bus. It just happened that men began boarding at the front of the bus and women at the back. Once riders are on the bus, they can sit wherever they want.
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