The Egged Public Transportation Co-op is Israel's leading bus company, and in fact is the world's second largest public transport line behind London Transport. Over 4,200 drivers run the fleet of 3,250 MAN, Volvo and Mercedes buses, wich carry each day one million passengers on 1,034 urban and inter-urban lines for more than 635,500 kilometers, representing 60% of the country’s public transport use. The company was founded in 1933.

The government determines which routes Egged will take, and also sets the schedule of fares. The government provides a subsidy to the bus company, who must also charge reduced fares to special categories of passengers.

I guess the joke that the company was named after what exactly happens to an Israeli bus when it drives through the Palestinian Territory is a bit stale.

Last year, the Israeli bus operator, Egged, sued the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, the Legislative Council and Yasser Arafat for loss of revenue. The collateral damage which Egged busses have suffered, has been paid by the Israeli government, but since the beginning of the intifada, fewer and fewer people have begun travelling on Egged busses, and there is now even a culture of cars leaving a good distance between themseves and a bus at traffic lights, for fear of bombs. Egged's lawyers are suing for 210 million shekels, or £28m, based around their assertion that:

“They (the plaintiffs) didn’t fulfil what they undertook to do in the peace treaties. They have a responsibility to keep security.” The lawsuit further claims that the plaintiffs are responsible for it by “indirect and direct action.”

The money bewing claimed for had to be recalculated, because a bomb detonated on the day that the lawsuit was handed in to the court in Tel Aviv.

To support their lawsuit, Egged will present documents seized by the IDF during raids, which list financial requests made to Palestinian National Authority officials from Al-Aqsa martyr’s brigades, affiliated with Arafat’s al Fatah organisation, for more Kalashnikov bullets (which cost between five and nine shekels each, apparently), “chemical supplies” and money for recruitment posters. Consensus about the documents’ veracity is often questioned, though a June 2002 Human Rights Watch report concluded they were genuine.

  • Moving Tragets, Israel's Bus Drivers (
  • Conversation with Israeli citizens.
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