EGGED (Heb. "bundle"), Israel public transport cooperative. In the 1930s small groups of drivers, each numbering between 50 and 100, constituted themselves into cooperatives to avoid duplication by abolishing parallel routes, and to increase efficiency. Egged was founded in 1933 and established branches all over the country. With the large increase in public transport that followed the establishment of the State of Israel, two other cooperatives, Shaḥar, which operated in the Haifa area, and Drom Yehuda, which operated in Tel Aviv and the south, merged with Egged, the merger being completed in 1951. The Jerusalem transport cooperative, Ha-Mekasher, joined in 1967.
Egged is one of the largest public transport cooperatives in the world. In 1968, the company operated 2,200 buses, which traveled about 620,000 mi. (1,000,000 km.) daily on 1,100 routes. At that time, Egged members numbered about 4,400, and there were also 2,200 hired workers. In 2004, Egged employed 6,309 workers, 2,452 of whom were Egged members. It owned 3,332 buses, traveling on 1,308 routes, and served about a million people a day.
Egged owns four subsidiary companies: Egged Transport offers personalized transport services, including VIP limousines, company transport, a messenger service, and so on. Egged Tours is an inland tourist company operating 300 tourist buses. Derech Egged offers air and recreation services. Egged Investments develops new sources of employment for Egged. The cooperative is governed by a general assembly, composed of all members, which biennially elects a council of 80, an executive of 20 from the members of the council, and a secretariat with five members elected by the executive, which runs the cooperative.
[Leon Aryeh Szeskin]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.