Using the bus in Tel Aviv is a fast, cheap and simple way to get around the city, however, it can be slightly complicated if you don’t know the city and don’t speak Hebrew. In this article we’ll try to address the basics of using the bus in Tel Aviv, including the major Tel Aviv bus routes, and customs for using the bus.
Basic Information about Buses in Tel Aviv
Typical Dan Bus
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
Buses in Tel Aviv do not run on Shabbat. Services will end on Friday mid-afternoon and resume on Saturday night (times depending on time of year and start and end of Shabbat). Sherut services will continue to run.
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, passes the Carmel Market, and runs along Ben Yehuda Street (parallel to Hayarkon Street and the Tel Aviv beach)
Between 7am and 8pm Sunday to Thursday route 4 runs every 7 to 12 minutes. It runs less frequently between 5am and 7am and between 8pm 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 6am to 9pm 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 5am and between 9pm 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 7am to 9pm Sunday to Thurdsay and less frequently from 5-7am and 10pm 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.