WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The 666 bus will no longer go to Hel.
The bus to the town of Hel on the Polish Baltic coast has always been popular with tourists. But some Christian conservatives have protested the number, which symbolizes the devil on a bus heading to a place that sounds like the word ‘hell’ in English.
Local bus operator PKS Gdynia announced this week that bus 666 will no longer go to Hel. It was said that the last number had been reversed and that the line would now be operated under the number 669 from June 24.
Local media said the bus company acted under pressure from Christian groups who had pushed for the change but had already considered a return to the old number amid public outrage over the change.
Local news portal Trojmiasto.pl said the line had been operating under number 666 since 2006, initially as a local hoax before attracting drivers from across Poland and beyond. Some people rode the bus only to say they went to Hel on bus 666, 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 “to present the reality of eternal damnation as amusing in any way is downright stupid.”
It was regretted that many Polish journalists, including Catholic ones, enjoyed the joke.