Transport Ministry Comes Clean About Bus, Train Complaints

An Egged bus. (RickP)

The Transport Ministry for the first time released a report discussing the number and type of complaints by the bus- and train-riding public against public transportation operators – and according to the report, there were 41,000 such complaints filed in 2018, with 90 percent of them found to be justified.

The Ministry has never released a full report covering the full scope and number of complaints, instead releasing information about specific complaints, such as late buses. The number of complaints in 2018, based on a total of 859 million rides, was up 43 percent from 2013.

The data released Tuesday specifies complaints by line, time of day, nature of complaint, and resolution, if any. The data was released after several consumer groups threatened to petition the High Court for the data. According to the groups, the data appeared suddenly on the Ministry’s web site Tuesday, with no advance announcement.

A full third of the complaints related to buses failing to show up – apparently canceled, although they were scheduled, and riders were not informed of schedule changes. Of the complaints, 16 percent related to poor driver or staff behavior, and 7 percent related to late arrivals at the passenger’s destination. An additional 17 percent related to other areas, such as difficulty in getting on a bus or train for disabled passengers

35 percent of the complaints were aimed at Egged, the country’s largest bus operator, with a full third of all bus lines under its aegis. The next-largest numbers of complaints were against Kavim (17 percent) and Afikim (10 percent); both operate in the Tel Aviv and Sharon areas, and the latter operates many bus lines in Shomron. The company with the lowest rate of complaints was the Dan bus company, which carries 20.5 percent of all Israeli bus passengers, but against which only 8 percent of complaints were directed. 6 percent of complaints were directed at Superbus, which operates lines in many chareidi areas.

Train service was apparently much more passenger-friendly; only 2 percent of all complaints in 2018 were about train service, and about the Citipass Company, which operates the light rail in Yerushalayim, there were only 128 complaints altogether. The most complained-about bus line was the Egged No. 65 between Pisgat Zeev and downtown Yerushalayim, and the Egged No. 380, between Yerushalayim and Chevron via Gush Etzion.

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