Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trying to Make Sense of the New Jerusalem Bus Routes

From what I've been led to understand, part of the deal (spelled OLMERT?) cooked up for the Jerusalem Lightrail was the elimination of any "competing" bus routes.  That means that if bus and train go on the same road, like we now have on Sderot Herzl (Blvd.) between Mt. Herzl and Kiryat Moshe-Jaffa Street Junction, the buses will be eliminated.  In a short-sighted way, it may make sense. Why have two modes of public transportation on the very same road? 

Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with Jerusalem, you should know that the entire distance isn't more than about a mile, kilometer plus.  I've walked it many times; it doesn't take long.  It's the middle of the trip to many places for many people.  That means that if you get on the train from a "feeder bus" you're going to have to get off the train and then take another bus, if not more, to your destination. 

The more vehicles one must take to get to one's destination the more difficult, physically and emotionally etc the trip becomes.  Why else are people very willing to pay extra money for non-stop flights? Think about it!  For the elderly, those schlepping babies and young kids, packages etc, this new set-up is a nightmare.

Besides all those points I mentioned, there's the challenge of figuring out new and better ways to get places bypassing the train altogether.  I couldn't make much sense out of the ads in In Jerusalem, so I waited for the new Jerusalem bus route maps to be published on the internet.  That's right; click here, and try to figure it out and then remember the changes.

I promised an elderly friend I'd help her with this.  Wish us luck!

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