The municipality of Betar Illit is working to combat the alarming trend of insolent bus drivers, compelled to act by the constant and growing number of complaints regarding drivers of the Elite Bus Company, which is contracted to provide public transportation to the residents of the chareidi community.
According to the daily HaMevaser, the committee will be headed by Betar Councilman Yisrael Pechter, encouraged by Mayor Rav Meir Rubinstein. As a result of mounting complaints, the heads of the bus company were summoned to an urgent meeting in City Hall to discuss the complaints and to hear the bus company’s plan to address the problem.
In one case, residents pointed out a driver left six people at a bus stop, refusing to stop because there were only four seats vacant on the bus. Due to repeated and continuous complaints, the decision was made to form a committee to address the urgency of the situation.
Tzion Pat, the general manager of Elite Tours, blames the old fleet of bulletproof buses, some in service for over 15 years, explaining his company was compelled to purchase them from his predecessor, Betar Tours, as part of the tender.
He explained the frequent breakdowns are cause for much of the tardiness, as well as the complaints, frequently resulting in irate passengers blaming drivers for situations that are simply not in their control. “We will examine the situation and summon drivers for talks when required” he promised. He promised to cooperate with the committee, as well as committing to appear in a town hall forum together with Pechter to hear complaints from residents. This event is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
Pat also stressed the need to acquire new buses, or alternatively for the IDF to drop demands for bulletproofing an instead, “provide adequate security along the route to the community”.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)