Bus driver (illustration)
Bus driver (illustration)ISTOCK

A group of girls claims that when they got on bus line 885, run by the Netiv Express company from Ashdod to Safed, they were required by the driver to cover up because they were wearing short clothes and told to move to sit in the back seat.

One of the girls told Walla: "Our two friends came to sit with us, and the driver told them they couldn't and that they had to sit in the front."

"We felt really uncomfortable. It was a feeling of humiliation. The driver asked us if we didn't realize the situation and said we were disconnected."

She also said that there were haredim who told them they could sit wherever they chose, but the driver insisted: "We didn't consider getting off mainly because it's the only bus line we have from the Ashdod area to the Sea of Galilee."

"He said it was because the bus was full of haredim. We felt like lepers. He accused us that the state of the country is because of us. It was humiliating."

The Netiv Express company responded to the report and said that "Netiv Express learned about the details of the case from media inquiries and intends to thoroughly investigate the facts with the subcontractor company that performed this trip for Netiv Express (which is part of the company's system for providing sufficient transit during summer vacation) and take all the steps required are in a determined attempt to prevent the recurrence of such cases."

"At the same time, and under the caveat that a thorough examination has not yet taken place, it will be said right now that on the principle level, Nativ Express condemns in every way behavior that excludes or harms any passengers on the basis of sex, race, nationality and/or mode of dress, and it is not correct to put up with actions such as those described by the reporter. It should also be noted that the company regularly briefs its drivers, among other things, regarding the attitude in Israel towards the traveling public and their duty to allow a free, safe, and comfortable ride for every passenger while maintaining the passenger's privacy, and that conduct on the part of the subcontractor's driver, as described by the reporter, blatantly deviates from its instructions for the company's drivers and those working in its service."