Using the bus in Tel Aviv is fast and fairly simple – Tel Aviv is a small city, especially if you stick to the center. The city is also equipped with a variety of transportation methods, all fairly inexpensive and easy to figure out. Whether you opt to take the old bus route or hop on a scooter like the local hi-tech kids, here is all the information you need to know about getting around Tel Aviv.
Basic Information about Buses in Tel Aviv
Buses within Tel Aviv are run by a number of companies, however, the company running most of the routes, and most of the major routes which you are likely to use, is Dan. Dan buses are blue and white.
Like any city, Tel Aviv has a number of very useful high-frequency bus routes. Because the city isn’t so big, for most visitors, just knowing three or four bus routes can be all you ever need to know (unless you want to venture out of the center of town into some of the neighboring cities or suburbs).
Shabbat and Buses in Tel Aviv
Most buses in Tel Aviv do not run on Shabbat. Services end on Friday mid-afternoon and resume on Saturday night (times depending on time of year and start and end of Shabbat). Sherut services continue to run.
Recently, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality made the decision to launch the first *free* public transportation system on Friday nights and Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath/Shabbat) across the city and surrounding areas. The buses run from Friday evening through Saturday evening. For more information about the buses, see here.
Major bus routes in Tel Aviv
These bus routes provide a regular service which should, for most people, be enough for them when using the bus in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv Bus Line 4
From the New Central Bus Station to the Reading Terminal.
From the New Central Bus Station, Bus 4 travels along Allenby Street, past the Carmel Market, and runs along Ben Yehuda Street (parallel to Hayarkon Street and the Tel Aviv beach)
Between 7 am and 8 pm Sunday to Thursday route 4 runs every 7 to 12 minutes. It runs less frequently between 5 am and 7 am and between 8 pm and midnight.
NB. Sherut Line 4 follows a very similar route to the bus and runs 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Tel Aviv Bus Line 5
From the New Central Bus Station to the Central Railway Station (Savidor Mercaz)/Arlozorov Bus Terminal
Route 5 runs along Allenby Street, Rothschild Boulevard, past the Habima Theater, along Dizengoff Street, Kikar Dizengoff, and then through the ‘Old North’ including Kikar Hamedinat to the Central Railway Station (and a similar route in reverse).
Between 6 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday route 5 runs every 5 to 12 minutes (for most of the day it is running about every 5 minutes) and less frequently at 5 am and between 9 pm to midnight.
NB. Sherut Line 5 follows a very similar route to the bus and runs 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Tel Aviv Bus Line 18
From the Central Railway Station/Arlozorov Bus Terminal to Bat Yam
Route 18 runs conveniently through Tel Aviv from the Central Railway Station (Savidor Mercaz) to Ibn Gvirol Street, Rabin Square, King George Street, Allenby Street, Kauffman (for Neve Tzedek. The southern-extension of Hayarkon – runs along the beach) into Sderot Yerushalayim (for Jaffa) continuing to Bat Yam.
Route 18 runs every 7 to 10 minutes between 7 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday and less frequently from 5-7 am and 10 pm to midnight.
Tel Aviv Bus Fares & Prices
Single bus fares in Tel Aviv cost 5.90 NIS (as of 2019) and as of early 2019, must be purchased using a Rav Kav card preloaded with money. Drivers no longer accept cash payment, and cannot add money onto Rav Kav cards.
A Rav Kav is a “smart card” which may be loaded with money used towards transportation. The smart chip in the card will adjust the fare to your personal data and will provide with the discounts you are entitled to, including student and senior fares.
For travelers, an anonymous (unnamed) Rav Kav may be purchased with a one-time payment of NIS 5.00 and may be purchased and loaded from the designated sales points.
Anonymous cards are not eligible for a monthly pass (Hofshi-Hodshi). Anonymous Rav Kav cards do not provide discounts. Rav Kavs can be purchased at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv or any Train Station in Tel Aviv, look for the green Rav Kav signs and can be loaded at various locations in Israel, including Super-Pharm pharmacy.
Moniot Sherut, or shared taxis, are a great substitute when buses aren’t running (i.e. Shabbat and during the week, after midnight). These 10-seater mini-buses have specific routes throughout Tel Aviv. Find out more about moniot sherut here.
Renting a Scooter
If you walk in Tel Aviv for just five minutes, you are sure to see multiple people riding scooters, or scooters parked on the sidewalk (hopefully not in your way). Several electric scooter rental companies have popped up over the last few years. The service allows riders to pick up scooters anywhere and ride them for as long as necessary. Riders are charged per minute and everything is done through the company’s app on a smartphone. Read more about scooters here.
Renting a Bike
With the introduction of the city bikes, Tel-o-Fun, renting a bike in Tel Aviv couldn’t be easier. There are hundreds of stations situated all over the city and around 2000 bikes. Most likely, you won’t ever have a problem finding a bike and if one station is out, there is probably another station close by. For more information about renting a bike in Tel Aviv and a list of bike rental companies, see here.
Bubble is a shared van service that is run through an app. It devises a route that suits all its passengers. There are existing bus stops, which people may locate through the app. Users are charged 15 NIS per ride during rush hour and 12.5 NIS during all other hours. There is also a 10-ride subscription available for 120 NIS. Bubble runs Sunday-Thursday between 6-22:00.
Although not the friendliest to your wallet, taking a taxi is still a popular and easy way to get around the city. For more about taxis see here.
Walking is by far the most pleasant way to get around the city. Because Tel Aviv isn’t big, getting from one end to the other won’t take you much more than an hour. With great weather year-round, walking is a great way to get some vitamin D and exercise. Finding your way is very easy with Google Maps. If you don’t have a cell phone service when you’re here, download an off-line map and you’re good to go!