Tuesday, 19 March 2019
(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Israel Public Transportation - Sheruts & Taxi Services

Hebrew: תחבורה ציבורית בישראל

 

The Sherut Service - Shared Taxi

monit sherut1

Numerous taxi companies operate sheruts - a shared taxi with 10 passengers. They are a convenient and fast way to get around. In most cities they travel along the most popular routes. The sherut will leave its initial point of origin only when it has filled up with passengers - usually 10. Unlike buses, sheruts stop and let you off wherever you wish along a specific route. You can hail a sherut at a bus stop, or close to one, on the various designated routes.

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There is a standard sherut fare.  Currently (July 2016), the fare is 6 shekels.  The sherut fare is sometimes, but not always, a little cheaper than the bus fare.

A special sherut service is available to Ben Gurion Airport . The sherut will collect you, and your luggage, from your home, at a specified time. The sherut rank at Ben Gurion Airport will take you to  almost any destination in Israel. The sherut will only depart from Ben Gurion when it is full. This may take a long time.  You have to be patient. Please note that the sherut fares are standard and laid out by the Ministry of Transport.  On occasion, the taxi driver may ask the passengers if they are willing to share in the cost difference of the missing passengers, so that the sherut can leave straight away. This may add an additional 10 or 20 shekels to the regular fare but it is often worth it. 

Just “Google” sherut from your location to Ben Gurion Airport for more information and a list of  taxi companies offering this service. They all speak English.

 Private Taxi Services to Ben Gurion Airport (Natbag)

There are many smaller, private individual, taxi and shuttle services who are  honest and offer reliable service, to and from Ben Gurion Ariport (Acronym NatBag) and other destinations.  Do not confuse these  with a "special taxi" (explained below), operated by  the large taxi companies having fleets across the country.

NOTE:

Gett, Hadar win airport taxi tender, fares to fall 31% from 30th May, 2017

A Gett and Hadar Taxi joint bid won a tender for Ben Gurion Airport taxi, ending Hadar's monopoly.

A joint bid by Gett (formerly GetTaxi) app and Hadar Taxi has won the tender for tax services to Ben Gurion Airport, thereby ending Hadar's monopoly on the airport routes. Taxi traffic from the airport totals 1,100,000 rides a year.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-ben-gurion-airport-taxi-fares-to-fall-31-1001188522

The Taxi Service - A "Special"

If the bus or regular sherut service cannot get you to your destination, there is always the option of calling one of the large taxi companies and ordering a taxi-cab. Commonly known as a "special", you can hail a cab on the street or order one by phone through the taxi company or on one of the mobile apps like GetTaxi. There are two options for paying the fare; the first option is to agree on a rate prior to commencing the journey.  The second option is to pay according to the metered rate.  Like most things in Israel, taxi fare is negotiable to a certain extent and it is generally expected of you to do some haggling.

Taxi Fares in Israel

The metered rate starts at 11.50 ILS (this being the minimum rate as of March 2017).  The meter works on distance and on time.  If you have agreed upon a rate you can be sure that the taxi driver will drive fast, try to beat the traffic-lights and overtake wherever possible so that he can pick up another fare as soon as possible. Buckle up and pray you'll make it to your destination!  If you have chosen the metered rate, the taxi driver will take his time, drive carefully, slow down wherever necessary and sit patiently behind the garbage truck so that that meter can continue to roll.

Whichever way you choose to pay, you have the right to ask the driver for a receipt, for the air conditioner to be turned on, to open or close the windows and change the radio station from some foreign language channel to the latest news broadcast.

It is not our intention to put you off.  Israeli taxi drivers are generally very helpful.  They are often protective of teen-age children traveling without adult supervision.  The drivers may give the kids a discount if they are a little short of the full fare and will do there best to make sure that they get home safely late at night.

Cabs in Israel are always clean and in good working order.

The Gett Taxi App

Anglo-List does not promote one App over another or any public transport company, but we received this info from a kind reader - Alan - somewhere in Israel:

I just wanted to add something to the article:
If you hail a cab from the street, there should not be an additional 4.80 added to the final fare. Only the 11.50 starting price. 4.80 should only be added if your called to order a cab. Actually the way to work around that is by ordering through Gett during certain non-peak hours. (see Gett's pricing schedule). I don't work for Gett but I use it often and part of the reason is because it gives me recourse if they try to add charges that don't belong. In a weeks time, I've had 3 different charges removed from my credit card. It really does work. The other thing about Gett is that if you enter the address, it will show up on the drivers phone and he has the option of using the GPS to take the route. Another thing I've done in the past to make sure that the driver stays on track in an area that I"m not familiar with is to enter the address on my phone and instruct the driver on the route that I'd like to take. All of these methods have saved me much money. Lastly, make sure to always as for the receipt. Even when using Gett. Gett will only refund a discrepancy when you email them a copy of the receipt. It's also useful if you need to dispute the charge with the Taxi station or if you intend to take it to the Ministry of Transport. That's it for now. I hope this information will help fellow cab riders. Thanks.

Laura & David reflect:

We took a cab we took in the Sinai some years ago.  It was hot!  Seven people were crammed into, and their luggage piled high, in an 8 seater Mercedes taxi (stretch limmo style, model year - circa '70s) - like the ones they used to use in Israel before they started using vans.  The windows were closed because of the dust. We asked the driver to switch on the air-conditioner so we could get some relief from the mid-day, mid-summer, Egyptian desert sun.  The driver responded by reaching into the glove compartment and said "Here is the air-conditioner"  and he handed us the crank to open the window!

Best way to negotiate your taxi fare. Use our guide with Hebrew, English and transliterations...

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