The Quality of the Public Transportation in Binyamin

Were you stranded at the station? 1 out of every 6 buses didn't operate

Data about the bus company "Electra Afikim" in Binyamin indicates that 17% of bus routes were not operated, leading residents to endure long waits during extreme weather conditions over the summer vacation.

Electra Afikim bus (Binyamin Council)

Have you experienced waiting for an hour at the bus stop? You're not alone. In recent months, residents of Binyamin have been suffering from reduced service by the "Electra Afikim" bus company, which is contracted by the Ministry of Transportation for public transportation routes in Binyamin, Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion, and other locations.

How much is the service reduced? According to the data from the Binyamin Regional Council, as of two days ago (Sunday), 17% of bus routes did not operate (meaning the bus did not depart). This has led residents to endure long waits, particularly in the hot summer weather during the summer vacation and the Ben HaZmanim period. Simply put, 1 out of every 6 buses did not arrive.

Among other things, data from the past Sunday indicate that there was around a 23% rate of non-operational bus services in Adam, 20% in Tel Tzion, 21% in the Gush Shiloh settlements, 18% in Ma'ale Mikhmas, 15% in Anatot, 13% in Alon, and 11% in Psagot. Last night (Monday), there was a 23% non-operational rate in Kochav Ya'akov-Tel Tzion and 15% in Adam.

Shlomit, 45 years old from Adam, shares, "We have reached a point where we are living in absolute chaos. There is no certainty that we will make it home on time. Buses that are supposed to leave from Jerusalem to the settlement every twenty minutes simply do not arrive. The situation is especially noticed in the afternoon and evening hours. People stand at the bus station in the heat, rushing home to pick up children from daycare, not knowing if they will be able to travel during critical hours. Buses skip stops without picking up passengers, take shortcuts within the settlement, and avoid going to distant neighborhoods. We have been living in this unbearable situation for several months now. I've spent a considerable amount of money on babysitters because I couldn't make it back to work on time."

We requested Electra Afikim's response to the data, but this was not received. The response will be published when received.

Public transportation cannot be trusted

Shimon Azari, a resident of Tel Tzion who is part of the transportation committee of the settlement in cooperation with the Binyamin Council, says, "The transportation situation cannot continue like this, not even for one more day. We are approaching the end of the summer vacation, children want to return to school without delays, workers to their jobs, students to kolels and seminars, and women to their workplaces. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on public transportation. Delays, shortages, and skipped stops have become routine, and as a result, entire families spend long hours waiting in the sun at bus stops, losing job opportunities, and students missing out on their studies. The situation has become a daily suffering that goes unnoticed by the transportation company."

In the Binyamin Council, it is stated that the company "Electra Afikim" is not improving its performance, despite numerous meetings, efforts, and assurances. A few weeks ago, Gantz appealed to the Minister of Transportation and called on her to terminate the contract with "Electra Afikim" "due to the poor service it provides."

The head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Yisrael Gantz, who deals with the issue daily, meets with the Minister of Transportation and the management of "Electra" on a regular basis. He also visited the transportation stations in the settlements yesterday, talked with residents, and closely examined the issues. A few weeks ago, he appealed to the Minister of Transportation, Miri Regev, demanding the termination of the contract with the company and its replacement with another alternative. "Today, throughout the settlements, it is understood that 'Electra Afikim' is a complete failure. The scenes at the transportation stations are unreasonable and are a badge of shame for the country. We will continue to monitor and assess the company's activities to ensure maximum service for the residents of Binyamin and respectful treatment, as they deserve to receive. There is no alternative to replacing the company promptly."

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