Jerusalem is preparing for the end of Egged’s bus monopoly in October. Bank Hapoalim and Superbus have reached a NIS 490 million financing agreement to help enable the company to take over many of the city’s bus lines in the coming years.
In February, the Transportation Ministry ruled that Egged’s decades-old exclusivity in Jerusalem would come to an end, following years of complaints about the service provided by the country’s oldest and largest bus company. The ministry hopes increasing competition will help improve the transportation infrastructure of Israel’s largest city.
According to the plan, Superbus will take over about 25 routes in the center of the city in the first phase, with the goal of running about 57 lines, including at least 17 new routes, within two years. That will constitute about 40% of Jerusalem’s bus lines and will serve about 34 million passengers a year, Superbus said.
“Superbus continues to prepare vigorously for the start of the operation of the main cluster in the capital to provide the best service… through an innovative bus fleet,” Superbus chairman Eli Blilious said.
The company, which is part of the Blilious Group, was established in 2000. It employs some 1,300 people and has a fleet of about 700 city and intercity buses, including many powered by electricity and natural gas.
Superbus currently provides public transportation in Afula, Tiberias and Yokne’am, as well as a Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem route, where it transports some 40 million passengers a year on close to 240 service lines and some 8,000 trips a day.
Also in October, Superbus is expected to begin operating Haifa’s Metronit, a unique rapid-transit line that is expected to carry more than 20 million passengers a year.
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