Showing posts with label Egged. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Egged. Show all posts

Friday, August 8, 2014

Squiggles... aka Detours

Life's not simple...

It doesn't matter what we plan, it's hard to get places without detours.

Recently, the bus trip to a from Jerusalem for us in Shiloh has been getting longer. We have to go via Ma'ale Levona. It's a place nearby, just south and a bit west of us. The view from the road is gorgeous, as long as it's daytime. They actually have two ins and outs aka roads. One is from the north and the other from the south.

A couple of years ago, the road from the south was repaired, so Ma'ale Levona only had access from the north. And now they are fixing that road, so Egged has determined that when Shiloh and Ma'ale Levona are on the same bus route we always go through Ma'ale Levona. That adds just over fifteen minutes to our travel time. There are people who, before paying, ask the driver if he's going there, and if the answer is "yes," they prefer to tremp, hitchhike or even wait for the next bus if there's no choice.

I try to take it in stride, get a seat with a good view and remind myself, that at least I'm not standing around waiting for a ride or bus. And I'm happy that they have bus service... even though sometimes it's an effort to see the bright-side.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
May you have a peaceful and blessed Shabbat.

PS This park statue in Jerusalem reminds me of that road sign.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Bus Hub in Jerusalem

Unfortunately these pictures aren't very clear, and I wasn't quite decided on which to use.  As you can see by the strings in the air, this bus stop is near the String bridge between Jerusalem's Central Bus Station and the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood.

The "String Bridge bus stop"

The "String Bridge bus stop"

Yesterday after spending some time in the Israel Museum, a picture post to follow, bli neder, I found myself enjoying the recent changes Egged, the Israeli public bus company as come up with.

As I was walking from downtown Jerusalem to the Museum via the area full of Government Offices, I was happy to see that the 66 and 66A, which go Pisgat Zeev also were in that area. So I planned on taking one of them to where I could get a bus to Shiloh or to the Jerusalem "City Line."

I was the first passenger to get on and sat in front. I mentioned to the driver that it was my first time on that route. He asked me where I live, and I told him. So he asked how I planned to get home, which buses. He suggested that I get off at The "String Bridge bus stop" and get a different bus, since he makes a detour via Machane Yehuda. So I asked which buses go there, and he said that the 143 goes and gets there about when he does. I also could have taken the 142, the 65 or 68, if I remember correctly. I'm glad that the northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem now have bus routes connecting to more parts of the city.

I took his advice, got off at The "String Bridge bus stop" and quickly caught a 143, which I took to the Jerusalem "City Line." There I caught a ride with a lovely young woman going to one of the "suburbs" of Shiloh. I planned on getting off at the Shiloh-Shvut Rachel Junction, but she insisted on taking me home, to my door.

B"H, Thank G-d, what a lovely day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Annoyed at the Jerusalem Bus Station

I don't go to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station aka CBS very often for various reasons. One is that I can pick up the bus to Shiloh  in other parts of Jerusalem. Another is that when possible I try to save money and tremp, meaning get a ride or hitchhike. 

Though I did go the other day, mostly because I needed to fill my "ravkav" prepaid bus/lightrail pass with more rides. I can get those at the bus station by paying with my credit card, saving me cash and the inconvenience of having to deal with money and change when traveling to and from work. 

When I got there, I saw that two out of three pay stations were closed, and there was a long line for the only open one.

This was very annoying. It also blocked access to the buses, so people kept breaking through to catch their bus.

I got to the back of the line and rushed forward when another opened. One woman was ahead, but she needed such complicated help it took almost as long as if I hadn't gotten on the newly opened one. At least the clerk was pleasant, and I had the time. Some of those clerks are awfully nasty. If I would treat my customers like they do, I'd be fired in a jiffy.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pishers' Guide to Jerusalem #3, Near the "CBS" Central Bus Station

Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, aka CBS, has been in the news of late due to air pollution. I don't think most passengers are there long enough to be endangered by it, but employees of its many stores, in addition to Egged, are those who must be most affected.

But that's not the reason I'm promoting the public toilets nearby. There are a couple of better reasons to use them if you have the time before or after a bus trip.

  • There's a ns1 entrance/user's fee in the CBS public toilets.
  • They are small and not always in good repair.
So, if you have the time, I suggest going into the "annex" of Center 1, which is the building next to Center 1, which now has the same security entrance. If you're coming in from the direction of the bus station, you can usually enter via the pharmacy, which has its own guard.

The public toilets are near the Cafe Cafe, towards the right of it.

I took these pictures before 10am, so not all of the stores were open.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bus Foul-Up, It Can Happen to Anyone

I ended up taking the wrong bus #31 from Malcha yesterday.  It didn't stop at Golumb/Pat.  It didn't stop until we were at the Government Office Complex aka Kiryat Memshala. I tried to catch a #14 from there to the Katamonim, but missed it by less than a minute. So I went to the stop for the #31 in the other direction and saw I could catch a #6 to Pat/Golumb.  The bus took ages to arrive, but once it did I got to the junction pretty quickly and made my connection, but when I got to Matan it was too late to walk into the class.

Now I've learned my lesson, two lessons.

  • One is a reminder to always ask the driver. Bus routes change, and memories are faulty.
  • Everyone makes stupid mistakes. That includes me.
Considering that I got to Jerusalem safely, neither accidents nor terror attacks, and any of those really bad things could have made me late. I really enjoyed how half the bus joined in trying to suggest solutions to my travel snafu. 

I was lucky to benefit from a lull in the rain after classes to walk all the way to the center of Jerusalem.  I was even able to have my lunch in Liberty Bell Park.

On the whole it was a great day, and I'll just have to listen to a recording of the missed lesson.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Tremps and a Bus

Two Tremps and a Bus, yes, I agree.  It sounds like the name of a bad movie.  That's how I travel. That's especially how I go to work and come back home.  This morning it was exactly that.  I finally caught a ride going to Beit El.  I didn't need to go to Beit El, so I said that I'd get off at Ofra.

Just as we were passing the road to Ma'ale Levona I saw an Egged bus, #477 (Elon Moreh to Jerusalem)  ahead of us.  I hoped I'd catch it at Ofra.  We passed it, and I saw it enter Ofra just as I was getting off on the main road.  I debated whether or not to run into Ofra to catch it.

Just as I was about to try to run across the road and into Ofra to catch the bus, a car pulled up and the driver said he was going to Jerusalem and agreed to drop me off at Sha'ar Binyamin. A few minutes later he said that he'd go into Kochav Ya'akov for a minute on the way, so I asked to get off at the Ma'avar Michmash stop aka the gas station.

I waited there a few minutes, getting impatient.  Then suddenly, what should come by but... the very same 477 I'd been following. I paid my fair and traveled all of a kilometer to work.

The strangest thing is that no matter when within a ten minute range I leave the house, I end up arriving at the same time to work.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A "Spiritual Ladies Room" at The Jerusalem Central Bus Station aka Egged

When the new Jerusalem CBS aka Central Bus Station opened, it proudly announced that there was a synagogue.  I see the synagogue in use most of the day for those travelers who have the time to "catch" a minyon, prayer with a quorum of ten men.  Some men just like to sit there and study sacred texts while waiting for their bus.  That's all well and good, but when I wanted a place to doven Mincha, the afternoon prayer, or say T'hillim, Psalms, I discovered that there wasn't an Ezrat Nashim, Women's section.

Apparently I wasn't the only one complaining, and after awhile I discovered that they designated a small room or closet nearby as Ezrat Nashim.  Even though there's no window or visible air vents, I prefer dovening there instead of the waiting area when I have the time.

It seemed to be well cared for during my most recent visit.

It looks better than at the previous visit.  I don't know who actually is responsible for its upkeep, so I'm using this blog post to thank them/him/her.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jerusalem Bus Routes Change Again

They say that being forced to learn new thing keeps the mind young and fresh, so I guess we must thank Egged, the Jerusalem bus company for their efforts to prevent massive senility.

And this time, they hired all these sweet young people to try to prepare us for what we have no control over.  On Wednesday, while I was waiting on Shlomzion Hamalka Street for the 18 (or 49 or 13) to get to Matan, this lovely young man came over to ask me if I was aware that the days of this bus stop are numbered.

As of today there will no longer be any bus stop on Shlomzion Hamalka Street.  The 18 will go to King George and then do the #4/4א detour on Rachel Imenu, while the #4/4א will go straight on Emek Refaim.

I'll have two options if I must take a "pit stop*" at the Jerusalem Municipality.  I can walk to the King David Street bus stop for the 49 and 13 which get near Matan but not as close as the 18.  And if I can live/travel without a "pit stop" I can take the train one more stop, to King George and pick up the 18 or 4/4א or 21 there.

*There are other "pit stop" options on the way, such as Horse Park (though the last time I tried that it was being renovated/closed,) the Begin Center, Gan Haatzma'ut or Gan Hapa'amon.  I once popped into the Israel Center which was B"H open early because of a bus trip.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"You were sure lucky!"

That's how my neighbor greeted me when I got onto the bus. It was a couple of minutes before its 4:30 departure, and I managed to worm my way onto the bus, which was filling rapidly.

"The 3:30 never came. I've been waiting."

Second time lucky today, since I almost missed the bus to Jerusalem a good few hours earlier. I was cutting it pretty close, and then before I was really ready to go, I got an important phone call.

We never know exactly when a bus will arrive in Shiloh, since we're in the middle of the Ariel-Jerusalem 148 bus line. Also, it does happen that buses don't arrive at all. There aren't enough bullet-proof buses in good working order, and all of the bus lines in Judea and Samaria have problems. We residents are suffering from unreliable bus service. That's a reason many people "tremp," hitchhike. Most people would really prefer to travel by bus, but when the bus doesn't show, or there's no public transportation between two places, like my situation between my home in Shiloh and my job in Beit El...
When I was still a minute's plus run, and I can no longer run, from the stop, I saw the bus pulling up. Miraculously, many people got in, so he was still at the stop when I got there.

But that's not all. Not only bad things go in "three's." When we got back to Shiloh, I was ready to collapse when I looked up the hill, in the direction I had to walk to get to my house. Then my phone rang. My neighbor asked me if I could say some T'hillim, Psalms, as part of the group in her house.

"Should I come to your house? I just got off the bus."
"Great! Your house is closer than mine. Just please have some cold water waiting for me."

So I walked to hers, and after T'hillim, she drove me home.

Baruch Hashem! Thank G-d!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Let them eat cake!

Yes, Marie Antoinette (actually she didn't coin the phrase, but since she wasn't very popular in France, she got the credit) is alive and well in Israel's largest bus company, Egged.

Yesterday when I went down to catch a ride to work before 12:30, I saw a mob of people. Some of them had been waiting since 11, figuring they could always catch the bus that was to leave Ariel at 11. It shouldn't have taken more than 45 minutes for the bus to have gotten to Shiloh, but it hadn't arrived. The driver from the other direction told them that he hadn't seen it.

I made some calls to officially complain to Egged. Then I waited along with them, getting more nervous by the minute, since I had a class to teach, and there were no rides at all going south, towards Jerusalem and Beit El.

Baruch Hashem I eventually did get to work on time, and just a few minutes ago I checked my computer and saw a response to my complaint from Egged.

Simply translated:

Dear Mrs. Medad,
I received your complaint.
On the eves of holidays, like Israel's Soldiers Memorial Day, there are special schedule changes. That bus from Ariel was cancelled.
You should remember to check the internet before traveling.

Well, yes, I, personally, do go online everyday, but many, if not most of the bus travelers don't even have computers. Instructing them to always check the internet before traveling is comparable to telling those without enough money for bread, to eat cake.

And, yes, that's what I replied to Egged:

  • We didn't get any prior notice.

  • It was a regular work day.

  • Not everyone has a computer.

It does pay to complain, regardless of the response.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Public Transportation -- Egged

jerusalem walk 042

If I didn't travel by public transportation, how would I be able to see images like these?

Yesterday's trip to Jerusalem started out well, since I didn't wait long until the bus arrived. It was smooth sailing until we were just across from the bus station. Suddenly I noticed that we'd been sitting for a long time. Apparently there were too many buses trying to get in and unload passengers, so the driver opened all of the doors and let us out.

jerusalem walk 037
Buses, buses every where were all waiting to get into the building. The actual bus station, built rather recently, is great. There's one very minor problem, the surronding neighborhood and access roads. The strange thing is that when I arrived it was after 11am, not near rush hour. Something must be going on, since later in the afternoon, when I left, it also took us a long time.

jerusalem walk 038
Baruch Hashem it was a pretty successful day, nice to have a day off from work. I got just about everything on my shopping list.
Jerusalem bus station
Jerusalem bus station