More trips to Hel with the 666 bus in Poland

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — There will no longer be going to Hel on the 666 bus.

The bus to the town of Hel on the Baltic coast of Poland has long been popular with tourists. But some Christian conservatives have protested the number meaning the devil on a bus leading to a place that sounds like the word “hell” in English.

The local bus operator, PKS Gdynia, announced this week that the 666 bus will no longer serve Hel. He said he had reversed the last number and would now run the line as number 669 from June 24.

Local media said the bus company acted under pressure from Christian groups who had lobbied for the change but were already considering switching back to the old number amid public outcry over the change.

Local news portal said the line had been operating as number 666 since 2006, first as a local joke before attracting passengers from all over Poland and beyond. Some people boarded the bus simply to say they had taken bus 666 to Hel, Polish media reported.

Fronda, a Catholic publication, has been calling for the 666 bus to be renamed for years, arguing that it has satanic overtones and that “presenting the reality of eternal damnation as amusing in any way is just plain stupid.”

She laments the fact that many Polish journalists, even Catholics, take pleasure in the joke.

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