Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Elul 5765 - September 21, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Tender Issued for New Bus Company in Beitar Illit

By Tzvi Sofer

The prolonged battle by Beitar Illit residents and the City of Beitar Illit led to a major achievement at the beginning of the week when a tender was issued for a new bus company to take over public transport operations in the city. The move followed long months of talks at the Transportation Ministry with city representatives taking part, to prepare the technical specifications for the tender.

For months Beitar residents have been waging a campaign against the inadequate service provided by the current provider, Beitar Tour. Mayor Rabbi Yitzchok Pindrus and Deputy Mayor Rabbi Meir Rubinstein held innumerable meetings with ranking Transportation Ministry officials who were impervious to the hundreds of complaints residents have made regarding the bus company's poor service. The majority of the complaints were for failing to adhere to departure times, delays of up to several hours, waiting in the rain and sun for buses that failed to arrive, failures to dispatch buses listed on the schedule, inadequate service during times of heavy usage and critical times, such as Erev Shabbos and Erev Chagim.

The municipality even set up a legal bureau that gathered the hundreds of complaints and presented them in an orderly manner to the Transportation Ministry, the State Comptroller and Beitar Tour.

City residents were especially irate when the Transportation Ministry illegally — since there is supposed to be public bidding — signed another six-year agreement with Beitar Tour at the height of a public campaign against the bus company. When the municipality realized that the Transportation Ministry did not intend to cancel the illegal contract Mayor Pindrus and Deputy Mayor Rubinstein decided to petition the Court for Administrative Affairs in Jerusalem.

The court accepted the petition and the two sides reached an agreement to cancel the contract between Beitar Tour and the Transportation Ministry and to issue a new tender by September 15th. While the tender was being prepared a survey was conducted to assess the city's transportation needs, but when Deputy Transportation Ministry Rabbi Shmuel Halpert learned the survey, which had been commissioned by the Transportation Ministry, was being executed in a shoddy manner, not during peak hours, and did not accurately reflect the city's needs, a new survey was ordered and it was eventually used as the basis for the tender.

Rabbi Pindrus and Rabbi Rubinstein were pleased with the announcement of the new tender following months of preparation, saying that after several years of real suffering and the concomitant growth in the number of residents, kein yirbu, the city desires good, reliable service to help thousands of Beitar residents make their way every day to Torah halls, educational institutions and places of work in Jerusalem and other cities.

This week Rabbi Rubinstein called upon Transportation Ministry representatives to closely oversee Beitar Tour's operations during the coming period due to concerns during its final months the company will reduce the number of buses and the hours of operation, despite the requirements prescribed by law. "We will not hesitate to turn to every possible entity to ensure pubic transportation operates smoothly in the few months Beitar Tour has left in the City of Beitar Illit," he said.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.