Modern-day Israel is a country where private transport is the norm. In the past, however, public transportation  was the main mode of getting around the country and whiling away hours of one’s life at a bus stop — generally an Egged bus stop –was a quintessential Israeli experience.

Those bus stops have taken many shapes and forms, from wooden shacks…

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To structures in the International style…

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On through rounded Modernist forms.

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There are bus stations that serve as billboards…

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Bus stations that double as bomb shelters…

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And coming your way soon to a bus station near you: clean-lined 21st century stations from manufacturer I.M Segev outfitted with solar-powered signage — a far cry from today’s dingy yellow metal placards with their Byzantine markings.

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A word about the bus station signs: every symbol, number and letter is significant.

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Paying homage to the humble bus stop, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat today inaugurated a new community book-sharing initiative: the “Reading Station”.

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Located in the former Masaryk street bus stop, situated along the old train tracks leading to Jerusalem’s First Station, this is the place for the reading public to borrow, drop-off and donate books. To learn more, visit the Jerusalem Municipality page on Facebook — and “Like”!

Images: PikiWiki Israel, Egged Retirees, I.M. Segev, Operation Lifeshield, Jerusalem Municipality, Tapuz forum