WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Bus 666 no longer goes to Hel.
The bus to the town of Hel on Poland’s Baltic coast 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 company, PKS Gdynia, announced this week that bus 666 no longer runs to Hel. It said it had flipped the last number and would now run under the number 669 from June 24.
Local media said the bus company acted under pressure from Christian groups who had been pushing for the change but were already thinking of reverting to the old number amid public outcry over the change.
Local news portal Trojmiasto.pl said the line had operated under the number 666 since 2006, first as a local joke before attracting riders from all over Poland and beyond. Some people just rode the bus to say they took 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 had satanic overtones and that “to portray the reality of eternal damnation in any way amusingly is just silly “.
It deplored the fact that many Polish journalists, even Catholic ones, took pleasure in the joke.