Tuesday, September 09, 2008

An open letter to the municipal governments of Modiin Illit, Kiryat Sefer, Lapid, Matityahu, and Chashmonaim (and cc’ed to the Superbus company):

[If any of my readers would help me out by translating this letter into Hebrew and formatting it onto a Word document, ready to mail, I'd really appreciate it!]

I’m writing to complain about an aspect of service on the Superbus 310, 320, and 330 lines, which serve your area, and to urge you to either pressure Superbus to improve or to establish bus service with a different company


I take Superbus often on Fridays to visit friends in Chashmonaim for Shabbat. I have no choice but to take Superbus because there is no other affordable way to get from Jerusalem to Chashmonaim.

Time after time, the bus schedule posted at superbus.co.il is outrageously inaccurate.

Sometimes it posts that the last bus is at one hour when in fact there are several buses afterward.

But more often, and more problematically, the website will say that the last bus leaves Sarei Yisrael Street at one hour when in fact the last bus is an hour before that. Having learned that this is often an issue, I sometimes try calling Superbus before I leave home to find out what time is the last bus, but there is no answer, even though Superbus service is, supposedly, still running.

This past Friday, for example, I checked the Superbus website, which said that several buses would leave Sarei Yisrael Street between 4 – 4:30 pm. I arrived at the bus stop at 3:50. No buses came after that time. I tried to call Superbus at about 4:10, but there was no answer. I called my friends in Chashmonaim, who said that another of their guests who had called the day before was told the last bus was at 3:30. If the last bus was at 3:30, why did the website say there were buses at 3:55, 4:10, 4:20, and 4:30?

Meanwhile, a crowd of people – I counted 23 at this bus stop alone – were discussing the fact that they needed to get to Kiryat Sefer, Matityahu, and Chashmonaim for Shabbat, while about a dozen Egged buses headed for other destinations passed by us. It is only because another would-be passenger went to the trouble of arranging a 15-seat private sherut at the last moment that I was able to get to my destination. However, there were still 8-9 people at the bus stop when I left, most of whom needed to get to Matityahu; I have no idea how, or if, they got where they needed to go.

In short, it has been my experience over the last few years that Superbus is far from “super,” and I urge you to exert pressure on them to:

a) update their website weekly with accurate scheduling information.

b) be available by telephone throughout the day to their customers, including on Fridays.

c) run buses on Fridays until 2 hours before Shabbat, as other bus companies do.

If they do not make accurate information more easily available, especially regarding the Friday schedule, I encourage you to give contracts to competing bus companies to provide service to your area.

Thank you for your attention.

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