Saturday, December 16, 2006

Thank You Egged

Egged is one of the few bus services in this country, and the only one in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem (possibly elsewhere but I really only know Jerusalem), they bend over backward to cater to the Charaidi (UltraOrthodox) community. This is as much business sense as it is a public service-the majority of Charaidim only travel by bus and as such they have a strong hold on the company. One of the more recent ways they've catered to the charaidi crowd is through the mehadrin bus. A mehadrin bus is that certain busses that go through religious neighborhoods have certain rules. They are seperated by gender, with men in the front and women in the back. The driver isn't allowed to listen to the radio. All women have to be dressed modestly. I'm sure there are more rules but I don't know them offhand. While I don't agree with the need for a Jim Crow bus, everywhere I need to go there is always another bus that doesnt have these rules. Another move by Egged is that they don't post immodest ads on their busses.
But all this isn't the focus here. The service I am most thankful for is the Saturday night free bus from the Kotel.This Shabbat, my wife and I walked to the Kotel, about an hours walk. Instead of having to walk home, Egged has free busses that leave the Kotel starting around a half hour after Shabbat is over. This is because no one at the Kotel has money on them. Without this service we wouldnt have been able to go to the Kotel on Shabbat. The reason the busses arent ready the minute Shabbat is over is so that the drivers dont have to break Shabbat to get the busses ready. So thank you Egged for allowing us to go to the Kotel without having to worry how we're getting home.


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