WARSAW, Poland (AP) — There will be no more going to Hel on bus 666.
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 signifying 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 bus 666 will no longer run to Hel. It said it had flipped the last number and would now run the line under the number 669 starting on June 24.
Local media said the bus company acted under the pressure of Christian groups who had pushed for the change, but were already thinking of returning to the old number amid a public outcry over the change.
The local news portal Trojmiasto.pl said that the line operated under the number 666 since 2006, first as a local joke before attracting riders from across Poland and beyond. Some people rode the bus simply to say they had taken the 666 bus to Hel, Polish media reported.
Fronda, a Catholic publication, has for years called for the 666 bus to be renamed, arguing that it had Satanic overtones and that “to present the reality of eternal damnation as amusing in any way is just plain stupidity.”
It lamented that fact that many Polish journalists, even Catholic ones, took pleasure in the joke.