Difference between revisions of "Bus travel in Israel"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(Fares and tickets)
(Fares and tickets)
 
(11 intermediate revisions by 7 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +
{{pagebanner|Bus travel in Israel Banner.jpg}}
 
{{traveltopic}}
 
{{traveltopic}}
  
 
Buses are the most common form of public transportation for Israelis and travellers alike.  
 
Buses are the most common form of public transportation for Israelis and travellers alike.  
There are several bus companies in [[Israel]], including:
+
 
 +
There are several bus companies in [[Israel]], but all routes and schedules are mandated by the ministry of transportation. The ministry issues tenders on bus routes, so that most bus routes typically change operator roughly every 10 years. The bus transport system has undergone changes since about 2000, as Egged and Dan were phased out of many of their former routes to be replaced by other companies. The quality of service of the new companies varies from very good to poor, not only between companies but also between regions of the same company.
 +
 
 +
Some of the bus companies are:
 +
 
 
*'''Egged [http://www.egged.co.il/]''' (pronounced "Egg-ed"), the largest company in Israel and the world's second largest bus company. It operates intercity and urban bus service in many parts of the country. Despite a reduction in its network in recent years, it still operates about 60% of bus service in Israel.
 
*'''Egged [http://www.egged.co.il/]''' (pronounced "Egg-ed"), the largest company in Israel and the world's second largest bus company. It operates intercity and urban bus service in many parts of the country. Despite a reduction in its network in recent years, it still operates about 60% of bus service in Israel.
*'''Dan [http://www.dan.co.il/english]/''', the 2nd largest company in Israel, is the principal operator within metropolitan [[Tel Aviv]] area (Gush Dan), and also several intercity lines to [[Jerusalem]] and Shomron region (in the West Bank).
+
*'''Dan [http://www.dan.co.il/english]''', the principal operator within metropolitan [[Tel Aviv]] area (Gush Dan)
*'''Metropoline [http://www.metropoline.com/]''' operates intercity lines to [[Beer Sheva]] and the [[Negev]] (with the notable exception of [[Eilat]]), and suburban lines in northern Dan region (aka the southern [[Israeli_Coastal_Plain#The_Sharon|Sharon]]).
+
*'''Metropoline [http://www.metropoline.com/]'''  
*'''Veolia [http://www.connex.co.il/]''' operates lines radiating from [[Ashdod]], [[Tiberias]] and [[Modi'in]].
+
*'''Egged Ta'avura [http://www.egged-taavura.co.il/]'''  
*'''Egged Ta'avura [http://www.egged-taavura.co.il/]''' operates lines in the Northern [[Negev]] area and urban lines in [[Netanya]], [[Ashdod]] and [[Ashkelon]].
+
*'''Superbus [http://www.superbus.co.il/]'''
*'''Superbus [http://www.superbus.co.il/]''' is the major carrier in [[Ramla]] and [[Lod]] region.
+
*'''Nateev Express [http://www.nateevexpress.com/]'''  
*'''Nateev Express [http://www.nateevexpress.com/]''' operates lines in [[Netanya]] and [[Hadera]] region and also in [[Upper Galilee]].
+
*'''Kavim [http://www.kavim-t.co.il/]'''
*'''Kavim [http://www.kavim-t.co.il/]''' operates urban lines in [[Petah Tikva]] and [[Kiryat Ono]] region in Gush Dan and also in [[Afula]] region.
+
*'''Nazareth United Bus Services [http://www.nazareth-unbs.com/]''' and '''[http://www.ntt-buses.com/ Nazareth Travel and Tourism]''' both operate routes in [[Nazareth]] region.
*'''Metrodan [http://www.metrodan.com/]''' operates urban lines in [[Beer Sheva]].
 
*'''Nazareth United Bus Services [http://www.nazareth-unbs.com/]''' and '''[http://www.ntt-buses.com/ Nazareth Travel and Tourism]''' both operate lines in [[Nazareth]] region.
 
*'''Illit [http://www.illit-t.co.il/]''' operates lines to [[Beitar Illit]].
 
 
 
The bus transport system is undergoing changes in recent years, as Egged and Dan were phased out of many of their former routes to be replaced by other companies. In general, the new companies offer cheaper fares than the two old companies, which were the only operators for most of the country's history. The quality of service of the new companies varries from very good to poor, not only between companies but also between regions of the same company (for example, Connex' service in Ashdod region is considered very good, but its service in Modi'in gets low marks).
 
  
  
 
==Fares and tickets==
 
==Fares and tickets==
  
Fares are considerably lower than most Western European and North American countries. A single urban ride cost around 6.40NIS in most metropolitans, but could be as low as 3 NIS in smaller cities. Intercity fares don't follow a nationwide fare system, so you can find significant differences between journeys of similar length. The most expensive journey is between Haifa and Eilat, that cost 80NIS one way.
+
=== Rav-Kav card ===
  
Tickets can be bought from drivers on the bus or at ticket booths in terminals. Exact fare is not necessary, and drivers or cashiers would give change from notes up to 10 times of the fare (so you can use 50NIS note for in-city rides worth 6.40, 100NIS notes for fares over 10NIS, 200NIS notes for fares over 20NIS). Payment by credit card is accepted at ticket booths for fares over 22NIS.
+
The most convenient and cheapest way to pay for bus and train rides in Israel is using the Rav-Kav card. An anonymous card can be purchased from any bus driver or at a railway station, and charged with money at multiples of NIS 30 or 50. This pay-as-you-go credit is called "erekh tsavur". '''Pay-as-you-go credit gives a 20% discount for every bus or train ride in Israel''', and saves the need to work with small change. It can be recharged by any bus driver, at railways stations, and at machines located sporadically across Israel.
  
In general, journeys with connection require separate ticket for each segment. Though most metropolitans (Haifa, Jerusalem and the entire Tel Aviv area) now feature transfer tickets (''Kartis Hemshekh'' or ''Kartis Ma'avar''). The transfer tickets are usually valid to anywhere between one and two hours, depending on the city.
+
If you're doing multiple rides a day or staying in the same area for over a week, you can also load daily, weekly and monthly passes on a Rav-Kav card. These passes are available in all parts of Israel, and are valid for all buses and trains in the chosen area. See [http://trans-reform.co.il/docs/english.pdf Maps of daily, weekly and monthly pass zones].
  
Multi-ride tickets, giving reduction of 15-20%, are available in the form of two-ride (or return) tickets and so-called ''Kartisiya'' for 5 to 20 journeys with the same fare on the same company. These multi-ride tickets can be used by several passengers. Daily pass (''Hofshi Yomi'') is available in some cities, including Tel Aviv, and there is a wide range of monthly passes (''Hofshi Hodshi'') designed for commuters. Recently, Egged and Dan introduced a new ticket for students of unlimited travel for the entire semester or academic year that costs between 500 and 1000 NIS (or twice as much for an entire academic year) depending on the zones included in the pass.
+
For students, a semester pass and a yearly pass are available with a 50% discount compared to purchasing a monthly pass every month.
  
Reservation is available only for buses to/from Eilat, and can be done at a ticket booth, by phone or internet or text message.
+
There are 2 types of cards:
  
Today, a new smart card, called Rav-Kav, is in use. Its aim is to integrate the payment system for all the companies in the country thus simplifying the use of public transport and to replace all existing paper tickets.
+
* '''Anonymous:''' An anonymous card that can be charged with money and daily passes.
 +
* '''Personal:''' Includes the passenger's details and photo. This type is obligatory for some special fare cards, like the monthly pass, or for receiving a youth, student or senior citizen discount. A personal card is insured for loss or theft. The passenger's usage history will be recorded and saved for statistical purposes. Personal cards can be obtained at Rav-Kav service points.
  
The card can be charged with ''pay as you go'' credit and with special fare cards (called ''contracts'') like a daily or monthly pass or a multi-ride ticket. Once implemented, apart for a regular single fare, no paper cards will be sold (Dan has stopped selling paper multi-ride cards and daily/monthly passes on March 1st 2010).
+
=== Fares ===
  
It can be obtained at service points throughout the country (most central bus stations and terminals will have one) and usually it will be issued free of charge (provided you charge it with credit). The card can be charged at any service point or by the bus driver, there is a 20% discount for each charge (by adding 25% to the amount of money that was charged).
+
Fares are considerably lower than most Western European and North American countries. A single urban ride cost 5.90NIS in most metropolitans (2017), but could be as low as 3 NIS in smaller cities. Intercity fares don't follow a nationwide fare system, so you can find significant differences between journeys of similar length. The most expensive journey is between Haifa and Eilat, that cost 80NIS one way.
  
In most parts of the country the card must be charged separately for each company so a service point or a driver of one company cannot charge the card for another company and the money that you charge for one company cannot be used with a different company. In case of a card problem you must contact the company that issued the card.
+
=== Single tickets without a Rav-Kav card ===
  
On July 1st 2011 the first stage of the public transport reforms started in "Gush Dan" and it includes the Dan, Egged, Metropline and Kavim companies.<br>
+
Tickets can be bought from drivers on the bus or at ticket booths in terminals. Exact fare is not necessary, and drivers or cashiers would give change from notes up to 10 times of the fare (so you can use 50NIS note for in-city rides worth 5.90, 100NIS notes for fares over 10NIS, 200NIS notes for fares over 20NIS). Payment by credit card is accepted at ticket booths for fares over 22NIS.
The area is divided to 3 zones:<br>
 
Zone 1: Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Giv'atayim, Bnei Brak, Holon, Bat Yam, Rishon LeZion, Petah Tikva, Or Yehuda, Kiryat Ono, Giv'at Shmuel, Ganei Tikva, yahod<br>
 
Zone 21: Herzliya, Ra'anana, Kfar Saba, Hod HaSharon<br>
 
Zone 22: Rosh Ha'Ayin<br>
 
A single ticket inside each zone costs 6.60 NIS and includes unlimited changes of buses of all participating companies within 90 minutes.<br>
 
A single ticket between 2 zones costs 10.40 NIS and includes unlimited changes of buses of all participating companies within 90 minutes.<br>
 
In a trip from Rosh Ha'Ayin to Petah Tikva the price is like inside one zone.<br>
 
You can use the amount of money that you charge on the Rav-Kav card for all 4 companies, but only on the mentioned areas.<br>
 
As mentioned above, on other parts of the country you still need to separately charge the card for each company (including the companies that participate in this reform).<br>
 
  
'''There are 2 types of cards:'''<br>
+
In general, journeys with connection require separate ticket for each segment. However, in many cities, including the metropolitans areas of Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva, paying with a Rav-Kav card grants unlimited rides within 90 minutes.
'''Unregistered:''' An anonymous card that can be charged with money or with some special fare products (like a regular multi-ride).<br>
 
'''Registered:''' Includes the passenger's details and photo. This type is obligatory for some special fare cards, like the daily and monthly pass or for receiving a youth, student or senior citizen discount. A registered card is insured for loss or theft. The passenger's usage history will be recorded and saved for statistical purposes.  
 
  
'''Current problems (06 February 2010):'''<br>
+
Reservation is available only for buses to/from Eilat, and can be done at a ticket booth, by phone or internet or text message.
- Due to the lack of a central clearing system the card must be charged separately for each company, with the exception of "Gush Dan", where the first stage of the public transport reforms has started.<br>
 
- The card does not provide free transfers between different lines, with the exception of "Gush Dan", where the first stage of the public transport reforms has started.<br>
 
-  Not all buses are currently using the card. During 2011 all companies, including Egged, are expected to implement it.<br>
 
- Israel Railways started to use the card for monthly pass .<br>
 
  
 
==Information==
 
==Information==
  
The level of passenger information provided by the companies is quite poor, especially for those who do not understand Hebrew fluently. Unfortunately, if your Hebrew reading skills aren't up to scratch, it can be quite difficult to get information on bus routes, departure times and fares. Each company is responsible for information on its service, and won't help you if the service you're looking for is operated by another company. However fellow passengers are usually very friendly and helpful (sometimes overwhelmingly so).
+
[http://bus.gov.il/ The official government website], Google Maps, Movit and several other websites and apps provide information about all buses and trains in Israel.
 +
 
 +
Moovit, Efobus and some other apps provide real-time information on arrival times.
  
 
===At stations and stops===
 
===At stations and stops===
 +
 
In many central stations you can find electronic information boards, which provide info on destinations, platforms and times of departures within the next hour. These boards are arranged by Hebrew alphabet, and in big terminals it might take a few minutes until you get the info you need.
 
In many central stations you can find electronic information boards, which provide info on destinations, platforms and times of departures within the next hour. These boards are arranged by Hebrew alphabet, and in big terminals it might take a few minutes until you get the info you need.
  
Information booths are operated by several companies in some terminals. For example, at Tel Aviv Central bus station you'll find information booths of Egged, Dan and Metropoline only.
+
Information booths are operated by several companies in some terminals.
  
 
Bus stops in cities and on the roads are marked by a yellow metal "flag". The list of route no. that stop there are marked on the flag, generally accompanied by the destinations. If you see it in Hebrew only, check the other side and you might find the English version there. (Sometimes, though, the English version is incomplete.) You may also find route maps posted on the wall of the stop shed. If you need help reading this info or just clueless, don't be shy to ask other passengers.
 
Bus stops in cities and on the roads are marked by a yellow metal "flag". The list of route no. that stop there are marked on the flag, generally accompanied by the destinations. If you see it in Hebrew only, check the other side and you might find the English version there. (Sometimes, though, the English version is incomplete.) You may also find route maps posted on the wall of the stop shed. If you need help reading this info or just clueless, don't be shy to ask other passengers.
 
===By phone and internet===
 
 
Most companies provide information by phone and internet (on their website), but like other aspects of their service the quality varies greatly. Some companies have recently introduced real-time phone information service. Look out for this at the top or bottom of the flag at bus stops.
 
 
The Israeli Ministry of Transportation has launched a site and call center (see 'Info phone service' below) which provides information for all bus and train routes in the country: Call-Kav [http://bus.gov.il/]. This is the most useful and authoritative information center.
 
 
Public Transportation travel planning websites for specific areas : Gush Dan area (Center District of Israel) [http://213.8.195.68/bin/query.bin/en?L=vs_iframe&currentCSS=theme_std30&] and Jerusalem area (Jerusalem District)  [http://www.jet.org.il/Web/En/Lines/TravelPlanner/Default.aspx]
 
 
A good place to start when looking for a route is Egged's [http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/ website] (English), as it is Israel's largest public transportation company.
 
 
Use Bus.co.il [http://www.bus.co.il/] to find schedules and line maps for all means of public transportation (including trains). You can also look for a combined route by address. The website is in Hebrew and English (BETA). Be aware that it is an unofficial website that might contain outdated information and they take no responsibility for the information provided. Also notice that their call center has a premium-rate number (1-900, 2 NIS per min.)
 
  
 
===Info phone service===
 
===Info phone service===
 
*'''Ministry of Transportation''' ('''Call-Kav'''): Dial *8787 or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to 8787. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-23.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 30 minutes after end of Shabat to 23.00.
 
*'''Ministry of Transportation''' ('''Call-Kav'''): Dial *8787 or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to 8787. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-23.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 30 minutes after end of Shabat to 23.00.
*'''Egged''': Dial *2800 from any phone, or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to *2800. Call center hours: Weekdays 6.30-21.00, Friday 7.30-15.00, Saturday from end of Shabbat to 23.00. There is service in English, Hebrew and Russian.
+
*'''Egged''': Dial *2800 from any phone, or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to *2800. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-23.00, Friday 7.30-15.00, Saturday from end of Shabbat to 23.00. There is service in English, Hebrew and Russian.
 
*'''Dan''': Dial 03-6394444 (Bezek), *3456  (Cellcom/Orange) or *4444 (Pelephone). Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-21.00, Friday 7.00-13.00, Saturday 18.00-22.00. Computer service available 24/7. Languages: Hebrew, English, Russian and Spanish.
 
*'''Dan''': Dial 03-6394444 (Bezek), *3456  (Cellcom/Orange) or *4444 (Pelephone). Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-21.00, Friday 7.00-13.00, Saturday 18.00-22.00. Computer service available 24/7. Languages: Hebrew, English, Russian and Spanish.
 
*'''Kavim''': Dial *2060. Languages: Hebrew, Russian. Online info: 050-5006070 (Gush Dan only).
 
*'''Kavim''': Dial *2060. Languages: Hebrew, Russian. Online info: 050-5006070 (Gush Dan only).
Line 93: Line 70:
 
*'''Superbus''': Dial 08-9205005. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-14.00, Saturday 19.30-22.00.
 
*'''Superbus''': Dial 08-9205005. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-14.00, Saturday 19.30-22.00.
 
*'''Illit''': Dial 02-5807777. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 21.30-23.30.
 
*'''Illit''': Dial 02-5807777. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 21.30-23.30.
 
==Routes==
 
 
A list of bus lines found below shows some of Israel's bus lines. It is intended to be a source of information that may be hard to find on  official company websites.
 
 
Currently, this section deals mainly with Egged lines; it will expand to include lines of other bus companies as well.
 
 
Intercity bus lines are classified to 3 categories: 'Regular' (''me'asef''), 'Express' (''express''), and 'Direct' (''yashir'').
 
The word ''me'asef'' means ''collect'' in Hebrew. Me'asef bus collects passengers at many stops along its route, which makes it a slow journey. If you travel between major cities you better avoid these buses.
 
Express bus usually travels on long-distance route and might travel at certain sections (or even the entire route) along the same stretch as me'asef bus, but stops at fewer stations. Express bus normally doesn't pick up passengers for short journeys on which a me'asef bus line is available.
 
Direct lines are either pure non-stop routes, or might have few stops in the cities of departure and arrival.
 
There's no supplement for faster buses, and in some cases they might even be cheaper than slower buses serving the same terminals.
 
 
Most intercity lines originate or end in a central bus station or terminal (CBS/CBT). The modern central bus stations built in the last 2 decades often combine bus terminal and shopping center in one building. CBS of this type include those of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa Hof HaCarmel, Rishon LeZion, Ashdod and Rehovot.
 
 
Bus lines are designated by a number, that consist of 1 to 3 digits. Urban and suburban lines usually have 1 or 2 digits, while intercity lines normally have 3 digits. There are exceptions, like intercity lines with 2 digits (those might have a preceding 0 to make it 3 digits), or suburban lines with 3 digits (the 1st digit may be 1 or 2, but not higher).
 
The last digit of intercity lines often suggests its category. The fastest routes usually have digit 0 or 5, while the digits 1 and 3 are associated with slow lines. Digits 2, 4, 6 and 9 are usually express lines.
 
 
For example: There are no less than 7 lines connecting Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. 2 lines are direct: 370 from Tel Aviv CBS and 380 from Tel Aviv 2000 Terminal. 369 and 369א are both express lines, terminating at CBS and 2000 terminal respectively. Lines 351, 353 and 371 are regular lines, going in different routes (351 via Rehovot and Sderot, 353 via Yavne and Sderot, and 371 via Rehovot and Kiryat Gat), and should be avoided unless your destination isn't served by a faster line. 369 and 371 travel the same route between Gedera junction and Kama junction, but the former has fewer stops, except in late evening when 371 is not operating, and 369 becomes a regular bus south of Kiryat Mal'akhi (stops north of Kiryat Mal'akhi are served by 301 Tel Aviv-Ashkelon line).
 
  
 
== Night buses ==
 
== Night buses ==
[[Image:Night bus and rail routes in Israel.png|thumb|Map of night bus and rail routes in Israel]]
+
[[Image:Night bus and rail routes in Israel.png|thumb|Map of night bus and rail routes in Israel (outdated)]]
  
There is night bus service in the Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa metropolitan areas. Night buses are operated by the regular bus operators, but have distinct numbers and routes.  The official night bus website [http://www.kav-layla.co.il] contains information in Hebrew. Information in English can be found at the Egged and Dan official websites.
+
There is night bus service in several areas, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Night buses are operated by the regular bus operators, but have distinct numbers and routes.  The official night bus website [http://www.kav-layla.co.il] contains information in Hebrew. Night buse schedules can be found on all the websites and apps that show daytime buses.
  
==Mehadrin lines==
+
==Amenities==
 
 
Haredi, or ''mehadrin'' routes serve centers of Israel's right-wing Orthodox population, a portion of which have strict rules limiting contact between men and women. Anyone can take these routes, but you are expected to observe certain rules of conduct. Men and women are segregated, usually men sit in the front half of the bus and women sit in the back half, and go in and out through the back door. If you want to sit mixed, do it in the middle. Women especially should dress conservatively (no bare legs or shoulders, and definitely not bare belly).
 
 
 
Advantages of these routes are that they go to each city's main religious neighborhoods, not just the central bus station. (This often saves a local bus ride at the end on trip, especially useful very late at night when local buses have stopped running.) Also, they are cheaper than regular buses (due to generally being fuller). A disadvantage is that they often run very infrequently, so check the schedule first. However, they often run at times other buses do not, especially late at night.
 
 
 
The routes can usually be identified by their endpoints: Har Chotzvim/Atirot Mada in Jerusalem, and Bnei Brak in the Tel Aviv area, rather than the normal central bus stations.
 
 
 
A recent court case ruled that these lines could continue, but that the rules must be entirely voluntary. What that will mean in practice is not clear.
 
  
==Amenities==
+
Most intercity lines originate or end in a central bus station or terminal ("takhana merkazit"). Many central bus stations were built after 1990 and combine a bus terminal and a shopping center in one building. CBS of this type include those of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa (Hof HaCarmel), Be'er Sheva, and others.
  
 
Due to the relatively short bus journeys, there are no toilets on buses in Israel, and no "frills" at all. If you are desperate for a bathroom break you can ask the driver and he might let you go at the side of the road (particularly when the next stop is a long way away). It's best advised to check in advance for stops along the route, and/or empty prior to taking the bus. Long-distance routes, such as Tel Aviv to [[Tiberias]] or [[Kiryat Shmona]] in the Galilee, make a stop of up to 10 minutes at designated places. There are two stops on routes to Eilat.
 
Due to the relatively short bus journeys, there are no toilets on buses in Israel, and no "frills" at all. If you are desperate for a bathroom break you can ask the driver and he might let you go at the side of the road (particularly when the next stop is a long way away). It's best advised to check in advance for stops along the route, and/or empty prior to taking the bus. Long-distance routes, such as Tel Aviv to [[Tiberias]] or [[Kiryat Shmona]] in the Galilee, make a stop of up to 10 minutes at designated places. There are two stops on routes to Eilat.
Line 137: Line 87:
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 +
 +
Haredi, or ''mehadrin'' routes serve centers of Israel's ultraorthodox (haredi) population, a portion of which have strict rules limiting contact between men and women. Anyone can take these routes. You will see the other passengers observing certain rules of conduct: usually men sit in the front half of the bus and women sit in the back half, and go in and out through the back door. It is forbidden to pester a passenger about the seat they chose; however, polite and less polite requests to sit according to your gender are common. A court case ruled that the seating arrangements must be entirely voluntary. Advantages of routes for the ultraorthodox population are that they go to each city's main religious neighborhoods, not just the central bus station. This often saves a local bus ride at the end on trip, especially useful very late at night when local buses have stopped running. Also, they are cheaper than regular buses. Some of them run infrequently, so check the schedule first. However, they often run at times other buses do not, especially late at night. Routes for the ultraorthodox population can usually be identified by their endpoints: Har Chotzvim/Atirot Mada in Jerusalem, and Bnei Brak in the Tel Aviv area, rather than the normal central bus stations.
 +
 
Without being unduly alarmist, intra-city buses and bus stops have unfortunately been the targets of suicide bombers in the 1990s and early 2000s. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, or discover an unattended parcel, notify the driver, a soldier or police officer immediately. If you can, avoid standing in large crowds of people in order to further minimise any risk. For the last few years, however, the number of suicide attacks on buses has steadily declined, and the last suicide attack on a bus was 2 years ago.
 
Without being unduly alarmist, intra-city buses and bus stops have unfortunately been the targets of suicide bombers in the 1990s and early 2000s. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, or discover an unattended parcel, notify the driver, a soldier or police officer immediately. If you can, avoid standing in large crowds of people in order to further minimise any risk. For the last few years, however, the number of suicide attacks on buses has steadily declined, and the last suicide attack on a bus was 2 years ago.
 
<!--The following two paragraphs were removed from [[Tel Aviv]] and dumped here.  If this article is not kept, it should probably be put back.  Otherwise, it should be integrated into this article if possible.-->
 
  
 
If you're waiting at a bus stop with multiple routes, stick out a hand/finger (also the Israeli hitchhiking sign) to flag down the driver as the bus approaches. If he or she doesn't realize you're waiting for that particular bus, you may get passed by completely. Do not wave, some drivers think that means you DON'T want that particular bus. If there's a large crowd to get on the bus, don't be afraid to assert yourself firmly (but not impolitely) when people try to push ahead of you.
 
If you're waiting at a bus stop with multiple routes, stick out a hand/finger (also the Israeli hitchhiking sign) to flag down the driver as the bus approaches. If he or she doesn't realize you're waiting for that particular bus, you may get passed by completely. Do not wave, some drivers think that means you DON'T want that particular bus. If there's a large crowd to get on the bus, don't be afraid to assert yourself firmly (but not impolitely) when people try to push ahead of you.
Line 147: Line 98:
 
While Israeli manners may be rougher than in some other countries, they are also more likely to actually help you, with several people debating the best route for you.
 
While Israeli manners may be rougher than in some other countries, they are also more likely to actually help you, with several people debating the best route for you.
  
==Internal==
+
[[Category: Transportation in Israel]]
===Jerusalem===
+
[[Category: Public transportation by country|Israel]]
*'''1''': CBS - Malchei Yisrael Street - Meah Shearim Street - Damascus Gate - Kotel (Western Wall) - HaNevi'im Street - Strauss Street - Malchei Yisrael Street - Jerusalem CBS
 
*'''2''': Har Nof - Givat Shaul North - Jerusalem CBS - Kiryat Mattersdorf - Kiryat Tzanz - Bar Ilan Street - Shivtei Yisrael Street - Damascus Gate - Kotel (Western Wall)
 
*'''7''': Har Chotzvim - Kiryat Tzanz - Kiryat Mattersdorf - CBS Yaffo Street - King George Street - Emek Refaim Street - Ramat Rachel
 
*'''8''': CBS - Yirmeyahu Street - Bar Ilan Street - Levi  Eshkol Bld. - Pisgat Ze'ev
 
*'''15''': Har Nof - Givat Shaul North - Jerusalem CBS - Malchei Yisrael Street - Meah Shearim Street - Damascus Gate - Yaffo Street - Strauss Street - Malchei Yisrael Street - Jerusalem CBS - Givat Shaul North - Har Nof
 
*'''29''': Har HaMenuchot Cemetery - Givat Shaul North - CBS
 
*'''35''': Har Nof - Givat Shaul South - Jerusalem CBS - Yaffo Street - Strauss Street - Golda Meir Bld. - Ramot
 
===Tel aviv===
 
====dan====
 
*'''4, 104, 204'''-CBS -allenby-ben yehuda -reading
 
*'''5''' - CBS (4th floor) - Rothschild Boulevard - a square Habima - Dizengoff Street - Sderot Nordau - Terminal 2000
 
*'''18''' - Terminal 2000 - Rabin Square - Dizengoff Center - Migdal Shalom - Caramel Market
 
*'''40''' Train Western University, Tel Aviv University, Lebanon, Klachkin, Diaspora Museum, Av pharmacist, Shitrit, the Sinai Campaign, Bnei Brak Railway Station, Ayalon Mall, BSR Towers, Jabotinsky, Bursa, Central Railway, Azrieli Mall , Beit Kalka, Beit Ma'ariv, Colonial Square, Jaffa Road, Jerusalem Blvd
 
 
 
*'''61''' Allenby - Ben Yehuda - Arlozorov Street - Central Train Station - Junction Elite - hakofim Gan - Ordea Square - Beit Tzvi - Ramat Amidar
 
*'''63'''Track Summary: Carmelite Terminal, the Caramel Market, Allenby, Opera House, Ben-Yehuda, Bograshov, Dizengoff Center, Cultural Hall, stage, street the Hasmoneans, Beit Kalka, Hashalom Train Station, Rambam, and Weizmann, Katznelson, Jerusalem Blvd, Uziel, Haroeh , the entrance to Tel Hashomer
 
 
 
*'''89''':Atidim, Deborah, Mishmar Jordan, Marcus Street, Olei HaGardom, Shitrit, Rokach Blvd, Exhibition Grounds, Railway University, Yehudah Hamacabbi, Weizmann, hamedina kikar, King David, Tel Aviv Rabbinate, Tel Aviv Municipality, Garden City, Rabin Square , Ono, Shlomo Carlebach, Cinematheuqe, Tzomet Ma'ariv, the old CBS, CBS
 
*'''161''' Allenby - Ben Yehuda - Arlozorov Street - Central Train Station - Junction Elite - hakofim Gan - Ordea Square - Haroeh St. Bnei Brak Municipality - Rabbi Akiva St. - St. Ish hazon - Hotel viznitz - Yaakov kehilot Terminal - Terminal Ramat Amidar
 
 
 
====egged====
 
'''271'''Haganah Train Station St., Hamasger St., Menachem Begin Road, Azrieli Center, Central Railway, Kibbutzim, at Tel Aviv University
 
 
 
==Intercity==
 
 
 
Note: This listing is incomplete or outdated. It contains several Egged routes and some routes operated by other companies, but lacks many others. If possible, contact the bus operator (for Egged routes visit [http://www.egged.co.il/] or call *2800).
 
Note: buses that travel into the West Bank are often armored to be bullet proof.
 
 
 
===From/To Jerusalem===
 
Note: Most buses which leave from Jerusalem Har Chotzvim are ''mehadrin'' buses, with the men and women sitting separately.
 
*'''160''': [[Jerusalem]] CBS - [[Hebron]] [[Kiryat Arba]]
 
*'''161''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Kfar Etzion]]
 
*'''162''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Har Gilo]]
 
*'''164''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Bat Ayin]]
 
*'''167''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Efrat]]
 
*'''170''': [[Jerusalem]] CBS - [[Beit El]]
 
*'''171''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Givat Ze'ev]]
 
*'''172''': Pisgat Zeev - [[Anatot]]
 
*'''173''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Mitzpe Yericho]]
 
*'''174''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ma'aleh Adumim]]
 
*'''175''': Jerusalem CBS - Ma'aleh Adumim
 
*'''176''': Jerusalem CBS - Ma'aleh Adumim
 
*'''177''': Jerusalem CBS - Ma'aleh Adumim
 
*'''178''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Eli]]
 
*'''179''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Psagot]]
 
*'''181''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Talmon]]
 
*'''182''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Adam, Israel|Adam]] (Geva Binyamin)
 
*'''183''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Kesalon]]
 
*'''185''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Kiryat Yearim]]
 
*'''186''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Beit Meir]]
 
*'''187''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Har Adar]]
 
*'''188''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ein Rafa]]
 
*'''400''': [[Jerusalem]] CBS - Aluf Sade Interchange - Bar Ilan University (Highway 4) - [[Bnei Brak]] ''(Express)'' (''ultra-orthodox bus'')
 
*'''402''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - [[Bnei Brak]] ''(Express)''
 
*'''404''': Jerusalem CBS - Holon - Bat Yam
 
*'''405''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Tel Aviv]] CBS  ''(Direct)''
 
*'''406''': Jerusalem CBS - Holon - Bat Yam
 
*'''407''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - Netanya Sharon Shopping Centre - Netanya Kiriat Sanz (''ultra-orthodox bus'')
 
*'''415''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Beit Shemesh]] ''(Express)''
 
*'''416''': Jerusalem CBS -  [[Ramat Beit Shemesh]] ''(Express)''
 
*'''417''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - [Ramat Beit Shemesh ''(Express)''
 
*'''418''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - Ramat Beit Shemesh ''(Express)''
 
*'''420''': Jerusalem - Beit Shemesh ''(Direct)''
 
*'''426''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - [[Petach Tikva]] CBS ''(Express'')
 
*'''430''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Rishon LeZion]]
 
*'''432''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ramlah]] - [[Rechovot]] - [[Rishon LeZion]]
 
*'''433''': Jerusalem CBS - Camp Tzrifin - [[Rishon LeZion]] New CBS ''(Express'')
 
*'''437''': Jerusalem CBS - Malachi Junction - [[Ashkelon]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''438''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ashdod]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''444''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ein Gedi]] - [[Ein Bokek]] - [[Eilat]] CBS ''(Express'')
 
*'''446''': Jerusalem CBS - Kiryat Gat - [[Beer Sheva]]  ''(Express'')
 
*'''448''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ashdod]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''450''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - [[Ashdod]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''451''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Jerusalem CBS - [[Ashdod]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''465''': Jerusalem CBS - Kedumim ''(Regular)''
 
*'''468''': Jerusalem CBS - Beit Aryeh ''(Regular)''
 
*'''470''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Beer Sheva]] CBS ''(Express'')
 
*'''477''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Elon Moreh]]
 
*'''480''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Tel Aviv]] Central Railway Station ''(Direct)''
 
*'''486''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ein Gedi]] - [[Ein Bokek]] - [[Neve Zohar]] ''(Express'')
 
*'''487''': Jerusalem CBS - Ein Gedi ''(Express'')
 
*'''491''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Tifrach]]
 
*'''492''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - [[Netivot]]
 
*'''494''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Ofakim]]
 
*'''554''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Arad]]
 
*'''930''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Netanya]]
 
*'''940''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Haifa]] Hof HaCarmel CBS''(Direct, via Route 6)''
 
*'''947''': Jerusalem CBS - Ben Gurion International Airport - [[Ra'anana]] Junction - [[Netanya]] CBS - [[Haifa]] Hof HaCarmel CBS ''(Express'')
 
*'''949''': Jerusalem CBS - Maale Efraim
 
*'''952''': Jerusalem CBS - Migdal Haemek
 
*'''960''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Haifa]] northern bus station (Lev Hamifratz) ''(Express)''
 
*'''961''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Beit Shean]] ''(Regular)''
 
*'''962''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Tiberias]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''963''': Jerusalem CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Tiberias]] CBS - [[Rosh Pina]] CBS - [[Kiryat Shemona]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''968''': Jerusalem CBS - Kiryat Tivon - (small towns) - [[Karmiel]]
 
*'''972''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - [[Haifa]] Hadar
 
*'''982''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - [[Jerusalem]] CBS - [[Kfar Tavor]] - [[Miron]] - [[Safed]] (Tsfat) CBS
 
*'''996''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - Kfar Hasidim - Rechasim
 
*'''997''': Jerusalem Har Chotzvim - [[Kiryat Atta]]
 
 
 
===From/To Tel Aviv===
 
*'''300''': [[Tel Aviv]] CBS - [[Ashkelon]] CBS (Direct)
 
*'''301''': [[Tel Aviv]] CBS - [[Rishon LeZion]] Old CBS - [[Rehovot]] - [[Gedera]] - Malachi Junction - [[Ashkelon]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''310''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Yavne]] - Malachi Junction - [[Ashkelon]] CBS ''(Regular'')
 
*'''311''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Yavne]] - [[Ashkelon]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''370''': Tel Aviv CBS - Beer Sheva CBS  ''(Direct)'' (also operated by Metropoline)
 
*'''380''': Tel Aviv Merkaz Railway Station - Beer Sheva CBS  ''(Direct)'' (also operated by Metropoline)
 
*'''561''': [[Tel Aviv]] CBS - Ramat Gan - Bney Brak - Petah Tikva - Hod HaSharon CBS = Ra'anana Junction - [[Kfar Saba]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''567''': Tel Aviv CBS - Ramat Gan - Bney Brak - Ra'anana Junction - [[Kfar Saba]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''571''': Tel Aviv CBS - Hod HaSharon CBS - [[Kfar Sava]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''572''': [[Kfar Saba]] CBS - [[Ra'anana]] CBS - Herzlia CBS - Ramat Hasharon - Tel Aviv University - Tel Aviv Riding Terminal ''(Regular)''
 
*'''575''': [[Kfar Saba]] CBS - Tel Aviv University - Tel Aviv Riding Terminal ''(Direct)''
 
*'''600''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Netanya]] CBS ''(Direct)''
 
*'''601''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Wingate]] - [[Netanya]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''605''': Tel Aviv CBS - Netanya CBS ''(Direct)''
 
*'''627''': [[Zoran, Israel|Zoran]] - [[Ra'anana]] Junction - [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - [[Tel Aviv]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''641''': Tel Aviv CBS - Petach Tikva CBS - Hod Hasharon CBS - [[Beit Lid Junction]] -  [[Netanya]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''642''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - [[Hod HaSharon]] CBS - [[Netanya]] CBS
 
*'''824''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Herzlia]] Junction - [[Hadera]] CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Nazareth]] - [[Nazareth Illit]] ''(Regular)''
 
*'''826''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Herzlia]] Junction - [[Yokne'am]] - [[Tiv'on]] - [[Migdal Ha'emek]] - [[Nazareth]] - [[Nazareth Illit]] ''(Regular)''
 
*'''830''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Hadera]] CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Golani Junction]] - [[Tiberias]]  CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''835''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Golani Junction]] - [[Tiberias]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''840''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Hadera]] CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Golani Junction]] - [[Tiberias]] CBS - [[Rosh Pina]] - [[Kiryat Shemona]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''841''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Beit Lid]] Junction - [[Hadera]] CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Tiberias]] CBS - [[Rosh Pina]] - [[Kiryat Shemona]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''842''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Afula]] CBS - [[Golani Junction]] - [[Rosh Pina]] - [[Kiryat Shemona]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''845''': Tel Aviv CBS - Route no. 2 - Route no. 70 - Route no. 77 - [[Golani Junction]] - [[Rosh Pina]] - [[Kiryat Shemona]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''910''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Haifa]] Hof HaCarmel CBS ''(Direct)''
 
*'''921''': Tel Aviv CBS - [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - [[Hod HaSharon]] CBS - [[Beit Lid]] Junction - [[Haifa]] Hof HaCarmel CBS ''(Regular)''
 
 
 
===Other===
 
*'''159''': [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - Camp Tzrifin
 
*'''164''': Petach Tikva CBS - [[Rishon LeZion]] Old CBS - [[Ness Ziona]] - [[Rehovot]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''249''': [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - [[Lod]] - [[Ramle]] - [[Rehovot]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''350''': [[Bnei Brak]] - [[Rishon LeZion]] New CBS - [[Ashdod]] CBS ''(Express)''
 
*'''551''': [[Petach Tikva]] CBS - [[Hod Hasharon]] CBS - [[Ra'anana]] Junction - [[Herzliya]] CBS ''(Regular)''
 
*'''970''': Bnei Brak - [[Haifa]] Hadar
 
 
 
==Notes==
 
*Egged bus station translate ''measef'' as Regular, while the official website uses Collecting. Similarly, ''yashir'' literally means direct and is translated as such on the Egged website. There are many other discrepancies between the Egged website and its bus station tabloids.
 
*Line 417 has multiple stations within Ramat Beit Shemesh, while 418 does not.
 
*Morning-only lines: 159, 423.
 
  
 
{{usabletopic}}
 
{{usabletopic}}

Latest revision as of 23:05, 22 April 2017

    This article is a travel topic

Buses are the most common form of public transportation for Israelis and travellers alike.

There are several bus companies in Israel, but all routes and schedules are mandated by the ministry of transportation. The ministry issues tenders on bus routes, so that most bus routes typically change operator roughly every 10 years. The bus transport system has undergone changes since about 2000, as Egged and Dan were phased out of many of their former routes to be replaced by other companies. The quality of service of the new companies varies from very good to poor, not only between companies but also between regions of the same company.

Some of the bus companies are:

  • Egged [1] (pronounced "Egg-ed"), the largest company in Israel and the world's second largest bus company. It operates intercity and urban bus service in many parts of the country. Despite a reduction in its network in recent years, it still operates about 60% of bus service in Israel.
  • Dan [2], the principal operator within metropolitan Tel Aviv area (Gush Dan)
  • Metropoline [3]
  • Egged Ta'avura [4]
  • Superbus [5]
  • Nateev Express [6]
  • Kavim [7]
  • Nazareth United Bus Services [8] and Nazareth Travel and Tourism both operate routes in Nazareth region.


Fares and tickets[edit]

Rav-Kav card[edit]

The most convenient and cheapest way to pay for bus and train rides in Israel is using the Rav-Kav card. An anonymous card can be purchased from any bus driver or at a railway station, and charged with money at multiples of NIS 30 or 50. This pay-as-you-go credit is called "erekh tsavur". Pay-as-you-go credit gives a 20% discount for every bus or train ride in Israel, and saves the need to work with small change. It can be recharged by any bus driver, at railways stations, and at machines located sporadically across Israel.

If you're doing multiple rides a day or staying in the same area for over a week, you can also load daily, weekly and monthly passes on a Rav-Kav card. These passes are available in all parts of Israel, and are valid for all buses and trains in the chosen area. See Maps of daily, weekly and monthly pass zones.

For students, a semester pass and a yearly pass are available with a 50% discount compared to purchasing a monthly pass every month.

There are 2 types of cards:

  • Anonymous: An anonymous card that can be charged with money and daily passes.
  • Personal: Includes the passenger's details and photo. This type is obligatory for some special fare cards, like the monthly pass, or for receiving a youth, student or senior citizen discount. A personal card is insured for loss or theft. The passenger's usage history will be recorded and saved for statistical purposes. Personal cards can be obtained at Rav-Kav service points.

Fares[edit]

Fares are considerably lower than most Western European and North American countries. A single urban ride cost 5.90NIS in most metropolitans (2017), but could be as low as 3 NIS in smaller cities. Intercity fares don't follow a nationwide fare system, so you can find significant differences between journeys of similar length. The most expensive journey is between Haifa and Eilat, that cost 80NIS one way.

Single tickets without a Rav-Kav card[edit]

Tickets can be bought from drivers on the bus or at ticket booths in terminals. Exact fare is not necessary, and drivers or cashiers would give change from notes up to 10 times of the fare (so you can use 50NIS note for in-city rides worth 5.90, 100NIS notes for fares over 10NIS, 200NIS notes for fares over 20NIS). Payment by credit card is accepted at ticket booths for fares over 22NIS.

In general, journeys with connection require separate ticket for each segment. However, in many cities, including the metropolitans areas of Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva, paying with a Rav-Kav card grants unlimited rides within 90 minutes.

Reservation is available only for buses to/from Eilat, and can be done at a ticket booth, by phone or internet or text message.

Information[edit]

The official government website, Google Maps, Movit and several other websites and apps provide information about all buses and trains in Israel.

Moovit, Efobus and some other apps provide real-time information on arrival times.

At stations and stops[edit]

In many central stations you can find electronic information boards, which provide info on destinations, platforms and times of departures within the next hour. These boards are arranged by Hebrew alphabet, and in big terminals it might take a few minutes until you get the info you need.

Information booths are operated by several companies in some terminals.

Bus stops in cities and on the roads are marked by a yellow metal "flag". The list of route no. that stop there are marked on the flag, generally accompanied by the destinations. If you see it in Hebrew only, check the other side and you might find the English version there. (Sometimes, though, the English version is incomplete.) You may also find route maps posted on the wall of the stop shed. If you need help reading this info or just clueless, don't be shy to ask other passengers.

Info phone service[edit]

  • Ministry of Transportation (Call-Kav): Dial *8787 or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to 8787. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-23.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 30 minutes after end of Shabat to 23.00.
  • Egged: Dial *2800 from any phone, or send an SMS message (Hebrew) to *2800. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-23.00, Friday 7.30-15.00, Saturday from end of Shabbat to 23.00. There is service in English, Hebrew and Russian.
  • Dan: Dial 03-6394444 (Bezek), *3456 (Cellcom/Orange) or *4444 (Pelephone). Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-21.00, Friday 7.00-13.00, Saturday 18.00-22.00. Computer service available 24/7. Languages: Hebrew, English, Russian and Spanish.
  • Kavim: Dial *2060. Languages: Hebrew, Russian. Online info: 050-5006070 (Gush Dan only).
  • Metropoline: Dial *5900 from any phone, 24 hours a day (except on Shabbat). Initial response is in Hebrew only, but dial 7 for service by agent and you'll be served in English and possibly other languages.
  • Connex: Dial *6686 from any phone, 24 hours a day (except on Shabbat). Initial response is in Hebrew only, but dial *7 for service by agent and you'll be served in English and possibly other languages. Online info: 054-6600088 (service in Hebrew and Russian only).
  • Metrodan: Dial *5100 from any phone, 24 hours a day (except on Shabbat). Initial response is in Hebrew only, but dial 7 for service by agent and you'll be served in English and possibly other languages.
  • Nateev Express: Dial 1599559559. Same number also for Nazareth Travel and Tourism and Nazareth United Bus Services.
  • Superbus: Dial 08-9205005. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-14.00, Saturday 19.30-22.00.
  • Illit: Dial 02-5807777. Call center hours: Weekdays 7.00-22.00, Friday 8.00-15.00, Saturday 21.30-23.30.

Night buses[edit]

Map of night bus and rail routes in Israel (outdated)

There is night bus service in several areas, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Night buses are operated by the regular bus operators, but have distinct numbers and routes. The official night bus website [9] contains information in Hebrew. Night buse schedules can be found on all the websites and apps that show daytime buses.

Amenities[edit]

Most intercity lines originate or end in a central bus station or terminal ("takhana merkazit"). Many central bus stations were built after 1990 and combine a bus terminal and a shopping center in one building. CBS of this type include those of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa (Hof HaCarmel), Be'er Sheva, and others.

Due to the relatively short bus journeys, there are no toilets on buses in Israel, and no "frills" at all. If you are desperate for a bathroom break you can ask the driver and he might let you go at the side of the road (particularly when the next stop is a long way away). It's best advised to check in advance for stops along the route, and/or empty prior to taking the bus. Long-distance routes, such as Tel Aviv to Tiberias or Kiryat Shmona in the Galilee, make a stop of up to 10 minutes at designated places. There are two stops on routes to Eilat.

The driver will often have the radio playing, even late at night. Many drivers object to cell phone conversations being held immediately behind their seats.

If you want to have the heat or air conditioning adjusted, or have the radio adjusted - well, Israel is not a shy society. Of course, this goes both ways.

Notes[edit]

Haredi, or mehadrin routes serve centers of Israel's ultraorthodox (haredi) population, a portion of which have strict rules limiting contact between men and women. Anyone can take these routes. You will see the other passengers observing certain rules of conduct: usually men sit in the front half of the bus and women sit in the back half, and go in and out through the back door. It is forbidden to pester a passenger about the seat they chose; however, polite and less polite requests to sit according to your gender are common. A court case ruled that the seating arrangements must be entirely voluntary. Advantages of routes for the ultraorthodox population are that they go to each city's main religious neighborhoods, not just the central bus station. This often saves a local bus ride at the end on trip, especially useful very late at night when local buses have stopped running. Also, they are cheaper than regular buses. Some of them run infrequently, so check the schedule first. However, they often run at times other buses do not, especially late at night. Routes for the ultraorthodox population can usually be identified by their endpoints: Har Chotzvim/Atirot Mada in Jerusalem, and Bnei Brak in the Tel Aviv area, rather than the normal central bus stations.

Without being unduly alarmist, intra-city buses and bus stops have unfortunately been the targets of suicide bombers in the 1990s and early 2000s. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, or discover an unattended parcel, notify the driver, a soldier or police officer immediately. If you can, avoid standing in large crowds of people in order to further minimise any risk. For the last few years, however, the number of suicide attacks on buses has steadily declined, and the last suicide attack on a bus was 2 years ago.

If you're waiting at a bus stop with multiple routes, stick out a hand/finger (also the Israeli hitchhiking sign) to flag down the driver as the bus approaches. If he or she doesn't realize you're waiting for that particular bus, you may get passed by completely. Do not wave, some drivers think that means you DON'T want that particular bus. If there's a large crowd to get on the bus, don't be afraid to assert yourself firmly (but not impolitely) when people try to push ahead of you.

If you want the driver to tell you your stop, it is best to be clear about it. If you just tell the driver where you want to go, he may ask you at the following stop why you didn't get off. Also, he might forget, so it is often better to ask the passengers.

While Israeli manners may be rougher than in some other countries, they are also more likely to actually help you, with several people debating the best route for you.

This is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!