Israel's Bus Service
The Israel bus service is served by 8 different bus companies with Egged and Dan being the most popular. Buses run frequently and connections to almost everywhere are available.
Israel's major bus companies, offering services, are:
|Kavim||Center & North||www.kavim-t.co.il|
|Connex||Center & North||www.connex.co.il|
| Nateev Express
The Tel-Aviv Bus Service
Tel-Aviv is served by both the Egged and Dan bus services. Dan is the main bus company inside the city of Tel Aviv, and Egged is the main bus company outside of Tel Aviv. The Central Bus Station (Tachanah Merkazit), Azrielli and Tel-Aviv Central (Arlozorov/Savidor) are the three main bus stations in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem's Central Bus Station
Jerusalem is served by the Egged and Dan bus service. Urban and inter-city buses run to and from the Central Bus Station on Jaffa Rd. Many interurban buses leave from Zalman Shazar Blvd., across the street.
The bus station in Jerusalem is extremely busy. Security is tight and you will be subjected to a security check. Your bags will pass through a security x-ray machine. First-time visitors to Israel might find these security checks intrusive and an invasion of their privacy. Understand that they are there for your safety and protection.
Haifa Central Bus Stations
Haifa is served by 6 different bus companies. The two main bus stations are the Carmel Beach Central Bus Station (Merkazit Hof Hacarmel) at the southern entrance to Haifa and the Haifa Bay Central Bus Station (Merkazit Hamifratz) at the northern entrance to Haifa at the “Checkpost”. Both are adjacent to train and Metronit stations. Haifa is a hub for public transportation and serves the entire north as far as Kiryat Shmona. The newly revamped bus station at Merkazit Hamifratz has just been opened (June 2018) and was designed to transport more than 60,000 passengers daily. Within 2 years, the Haifa municipality expects the cable car between Merkazit Hamifratz the Technion and the University of Haifa to be operational.
Bus Tickets & Fares
If you purchase a ticket on the bus, it is cash only. At bus stations you can purchases your route fares on your credit card at one of the vending machines or at the ticketing office. There are various ticket options. Load your Rav-Kav on the bus with cash only. At the vending machines or via the app, you can use your credit card.
A regular one way ticket (Kartis) is purchased from the bus driver as you board the bus. The inter-urban fee, in most places, is 5.90 ILS or US$1.55 (June 2018). A few years ago a continuation ticket was introduced. The continuation ticket - a Kartis Ma’avar - (the same price as a regular ticket) allows you to ride the bus as many times as you need within a 90 minutewindow. In order to take advantage of the continuation ticket, you have to use the Rav-Kav ticketing system
Multiple Bus Journeys
- Multiple journey tickets are available at a slightly reduced price.
- Pre-paid season tickets (Kartisiya) allows you unlimited rides on routes where the regular bus fare is levied. This is really useful and economical if you are catching more than 2 buses a day.
- Student tickets cost half of the regular fare when purchased with the Rav-Kav
- A pensioner’s ticket is also available at a reduced rate with the Rav-Kav.
- Children under the age of 5, who do not occupy a seat, travel for free.
- Travel by bus, by train, light rail or metronit - the 60 shekel day pass allows you unlimited use of the transport system until 03:00am on the same day.
The Rav Kav (Multiple Journey Ticket)
In 2010,a pre-paid magnetic smart card, the Rav Kav, was introduced for multiple rides and season tickets. It can be purchased at any central bus station. You will need to produce an identity document when purchasing the Rav Kav. A digital photo of you will be processed onto the card (just like on your driver's license) The Rav Kav is issued on the spot and your personal identification details are printed on the underside of the bus card. You pay and then load the fare which is then credited to the card. Each time you use the bus, you swipe the Rav Kav card in the card reader and the appropriate fare is deducted from the balance. The current fare for a single ride is valid for 90 minutes. This means you can get on and off the bus or public transport system (not including the train), an unlimited number of times within a 90 minute window, and still only pay the ILS 5.90 fare.
You can also buy a Rav Kav Anonimi (an anonymous card which does not have your photograph) for a one time payment of 5 shekels, from the bus driver. The Rav Kav Anonimi does not give you student, pensioners or other discounts. The 90 minute transfer window applies. This is an ideal solution for tourists.
School Bus Routes
Schools bus routes may differ to the regular route. Student routes are indicated at the bus stop. On one side of the sign it will say "students" and on the other side it will say 'talmidim' in Hebrew - תלמידים
Panoramic Bus Tours in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv
The panoramic bus tours of Jerusalem (Bus no. 99) and the Dan Tel Aviv City Tour, are the best way to see these cities. The day-long excursion, on the open-top bus, allows you to hop-on and hop-off at various stops of public interest and tourist attractions.
Transport tip: Guided tours on the panoramic buses, are available in 8 different languages Contact +972 3639 4444 (Tel Aviv) or +972 50 842 2473 (Jerusalem)
The Disabled & Wheelchair Bound
Buses in Israel are wheelchair friendly and the bus driver is obligated to help any person who is wheelchair bound to get on and off the bus. The bus is equipped with a special ramp for easy access which the driver has to engage. Once the wheelchair has been positioned in the designated area of the bus, the driver will strap and lock the wheelchair into position. When the passenger gets off the bus, the driver will perform the reverse operation.
A True Story
Circa 1990 - somewhere in Israel, a man gets on a bus and move towards a seemingly unoccupied seat next to an old lady. As he approaches, he sees her little dog sitting next to her on the seat. He asks the old lady, politely, to move the dog. She ignores him. He asks her again. She refuses and an argument ensues. Other passenger on the bus join in the argument. No one can agree on what should be done. They turn to the driver for a solution. The driver confirms that the lady bought a ticket for the dog. The dog is entitled to the seat. The passenger admits defeat, he sighs and looks for another place to sit.
Transport resources & information