News Culture

Polish Bus to ‘Hel’ No Longer Called Route 666, You’ll Never Guess What It’s Called Now

After years of people complaining about the associations of the number 666, the bus company changed it to a funnier number: 669.
PKS Gdniya

There’s a lot of superstition around numbering things. Skyscrapers often omit floor 13, and there are a lot of non-western ideas around numbers and luck that mean 14 is sometimes omitted too. But if one number is the one that inspires the most controversy, it’s 666. The number of the devil. And the former number of a Polish bus route to a town called Hel.

While this bus was on the highway to Hel, a beautiful part of the Baltic coast, for over ten years, there’s been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction from folks that feel the number is offensive. According to Sky, locals like the joke. Which, c’mon, whoever chose to number the bus route to Hel with 666 knew what they were doing. But after ten years of pressure, Polish transport operator PKS Gdynia decided to change the number away from the mark of the beast. Now it’s even funnier: 669.

PKS Gdniya

If nothing else, some bureaucrats within PKS Gdynia have an excellent sense of humor. Going from 666 to 669 is a masterstroke in municipal trolling and definitely shows a bit of reluctance in changing the old joke. Much like 666, I hope 69 needs no explanation. This is a car website. I am not explaining it. Google it.

Catholic publication Fronda called the use of 666 “satanic stupidity” in 2018, and further called Hell “the negation of humanity” and “eternal death and suffering.” Of course, this has nothing to do with Hel, Poland. I can definitely see how the number will offend some folks, but I wonder if the same people who rallied against 666 will rally against 669. 

It’s not all bad news, however. PKS Gdniya says that if the response is large enough, it could “listen to its passengers” and change the number back to 666. This basically confirms it: this is top-tier trolling.

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