For the past 10 years, there has been a non-formal agreement between the Egged bus company and chareidi mispallelim returning home from the Kosel after Shabbos: passengers may travel on bus No. 1, 2 or 3 for free.
This service is offered to the charedi public, which cannot walk around with money on Shabbos, as a goodwill gesture on behalf of Egged.
But according to the company, an inquiry conducted recently revealed that most passengers fail to pay for the bus ride the next day – some don’t even know that they are expected to, as most have assumed the ride is free – leading to concerns that the “benefit” would be canceled, reports Ynet.
These concerns prompted a Yerushalayim resident to turn to the State Comptroller’s Office to request that the free bus rides continue and even be extended to other bus lines across the city.
Despite claims that the special arrangement may be canceled, reports Ynet, an Egged official assured the public that the company would continue letting them travel for free from the Kosel at the end of Shabbos.
The company issued the following statement in response: “For the past 10 years, we have been upholding an unwritten agreement with Shabbat observing passengers, under which Egged lets them get on the first service lines leaving the Kotel plaza upon the end of Shabbat, and the passengers pay for this ride the next day.
“Despite the drop in the number of passengers paying for the ride later on and upholding the agreement, at this stage we have no intention of changing or cancelling the special arrangement.”