The Knesset Economics Committee discussed the state of public transportation around the country on Monday. During the deliberation, Jerusalem councilman and founder of Egged Watch Elad Malka (Hitorerut) pointed out that Egged delays make Jerusalemites wait twice as long at points of departure, 1.25 million minutes, as compared to Israelis around the city. Yossi Saidov, who founded “15 Minutes”, a public transportation advocacy group, pointed out that 10-20% of busses don’t ever leave the station.
In a conversation with re:Jerusalem, Malka stated that he was promised that new shuttle lines that will operate outside of Egged’s will be running in Jerusalem before they are set up anywhere else. Furthermore, the Ministry will publish a tender for the right to control the lines before signing any new contract with Egged. The most recent contract has already expired.
Mayor Nir Barkat appeared at the debate for a few minutes and called on the Ministry of Transportation to dedicate more funds to recruiting drivers to Jerusalem.
Committee Chairman Eitan Cabel said “There is terrible chaos in Jerusalem. I call on all of the relevant bodies in the city and in the Transportation Ministry to include the public in order to find solutions. The worst problem is that residents do not know when their bus is arriving. The schedules need to be updated based on the current reality.”