A free public transportation bus line offering full segregation between men and women and connecting the haredi neighborhoods and the Western Wall was launched in Jerusalem on Thursday.
The line's initiators said that the new service was launched in protest of the Egged bus company's refusal to instate gender separation on bus number 2, which they claim transports some 20,000 religious passengers to the Wall and back each day. They also noted that the bus fare in the capital is higher than in other cities.
A previous attempt to operate an alternative line to Egged's was made about a month ago, but failed after Egged filed a complaint against the company that was supposed to provide the buses, for operating a public transportation service without the proper license.
Going all the way
Binyamin Mark of the "Holy Land Mehadrin Committee" said that this time a different company, "which is not deterred by idle threats" has been contracted, and that the plan now was to "go all the way" and launch several other lines soon.
Mark claimed that since the service is being given free of charge, there was nothing illegal about it.
Egged's spokesman Ron Ratner said in response: "I find it inconceivable that piratical, aggressive and unruly lines, which go against the accepted norms in a well-managed western state will be operated in Jerusalem.
"I believe that the Transportation Ministry will not allow such an attempt, which could hinder the reform it has introduced in the last decade."