- Egged Bus Cooperative
company_name = Egged
foundation = 1933
members = 2222
num_employees = 6227
homepage = www.egged.co.il ( [http://www.egged.co.il Hebrew] [http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/ English] )
Egged Israel Transport Cooperative Society Ltd ( _he. אגד) is the largest
buscompany in Israel, and the second largest in the world (after London Buses). [cite news|url=http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2001/11/Facets%20of%20the%20Israeli%20Economy-%20Transportation |publisher=Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs |title=Facets of the Israeli Economy – Transportation |date= 2001-11-01|last=Solomon |first=Shoshanna |accessdate=2007-03-14] A cooperativeowned by its members, Egged employs 6227 workers and has 3105 buses (including 114 bulletproof buses) for more than 1038 service routes and 3984 alternative routes all over Israel. Egged makes 44,957 trips every day, transporting about a million passengers over 810,519 km of roads. Egged's bus routes reach most settlements, kibbutzim, moshavim and cities in Israel. Egged also runs local bus networks in most Israeli cities and towns. [Figures from [http://egged.co.il/Main.asp?lngCategoryID=719 Egged's website] .]
Egged has expanded to run multiple bus lines in
Bulgaria, including cities such as Varnaand Sofia, as well as airport and tour buses; this operation has been successful enough that the company is planning to expand in Eastern Europe. [ [http://ynet.realnews.co.il/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3387099,00.html Egged considers expanding operations in Eastern Europe] , Ynetnews.com, April 12, 2007]
Egged was created in 1933 through a merger of four smaller bus cooperatives. In 1951, Egged merged with the northern "Shahar" bus company and the southern "Drom Yehuda" bus company, creating a cross-country public transportation network. After the
Six Day War, Egged merged with the "Hamekasher" bus company of Jerusalem. The name "Egged" (lit. "Union") was given to the cooperative by the Israeli poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, in reference to the original merger.
deregulationattempts made by Benjamin Netanyahu, Egged is still Israel's largest bus company, is subsidized by the government, and still controls most of the inter-city bus lines in Israel. Netanyahu's attempts were cut short by a bus strike that brought the country to a halt, and Egged's workers and directors don't hesitate to declare that any further attempts to undermine the company's monopoly will be met with similar measures. However, in recent years, many bus lines have begun to be operated by smaller bus companies such as Dan, Kavim, Superbus, Connexand others.
Egged's bus fleet include a wide variety of bus models of
Mercedes-Benz, Volvoand MAN, including bulletproofversions used mostly for travel in the West Bank/ Judea and Samaria. Historically, the company also extensively used buses by Leyland, Neoplan, Jonckheere, DAF, International, Fiatand more.
Some lines, mainly running in and/or between major Haredi Jewish population centers, are classified as 'Mehadrin' buses. These buses, while identical to others, can be used by anyone whether Haredi or not, but travelers are expected to note that they are segregated by sex (with the exception of husband and wife, or parents with children), and women may be expected to sit in the back of the bus, while men sit in front; couples usually sit in the middle section. For women, a modest style of dress is recommended (meaning, no miniskirts or bare shoulders).
Drivers are not required by Egged guidelines to enforce Mehadrin guidelines. [Daphna Berman, " [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=821676 Canadian woman beaten on Egged bus joins High Court petition] ",
Haaretz, 4 February 2007, accessed 2008-04-08] The Mehadrin bus guidelines are not law, and Haredi passengers request (or insist) that other passengers observe the guidelines. Mehadrin routes were heavily criticized after an Israeli-American woman, Miriam Shear, was allegedly assaulted on November 24, 2006, by a group of Haredi men while riding an Egged line for refusing to give up her seat to a male passenger and move to the back of the bus. The bus driver contends there was no violence, but that he did see a crowd around Shear and stopped the bus to inform passengers that his line was not sex-segregated ("Mehadrin"). Another passenger, however, was reported to confirm Shear's account. [Daphna Berman, " [http://haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=801449 Woman beaten on J'lem bus for refusing to move to rear seat] ", Haaretz, 17 December 2006, accessed 2008-04-08] Critics have likened the Mehadrin lines to former racial segregation in the United States, with Shear being compared to African Americanicon Rosa Parks. [ [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467776731&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Destination: Montgomery, 1955] , Jerusalem Post]
List of Egged bus lines
* [http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/ Egged Official website]
* [http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/Main.asp?lngCategoryID=2785 About Us - Official Egged Website]
* [http://www.egged.co.il/main.asp?lngCategoryID=1026 Picture of Egged buses]
* [http://www.hamekasher.com/ Hamekasher - A website dedicated to a bus company operated in Jerusalem until 1967]
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