JERUSALEM (Dec. 16)
A Histadrut committee studying the inter-urban bus situation in Israel recommended today that the cooperative monopoly of bus service be replaced with a government controlled and partly-owned arrangement, in the interests of public service.
The Histadrut committee suggested the formation of a single national bus corporation and two regional companies. It suggested the national government own 50 percent of the stock of the national company, with the Histadrut obtaining ownership of ten per cent and the remaining 40 going to Egged, the present central cooperative in the bus field. The regional companies, to serve within cities and communities should also include in its partnership the municipal governments involved, it was proposed.
As had been expected, the cooperative movement is in violent opposition to the recommendation. Totally unexpected, however, is today’s announced opposition by Minister of Transport Moshe Carmel. His stand is based on the opinion that public ownership would force an increase in bus fares.
The Histadrut and Egged, one of its affiliates, have been at loggerheads for a long time. This shows up particularly when Egged demands rate increases–to benefit its cooperative members–and Histadrut charges that such rates are not in the public interest merely in the selfish interests of the cooperative members.