Getting around Tel Aviv
The city’s fast, punctual and economical bus network is operated by Dan (tel: +972 3 639 4444; www.dan.co.il). Most routes run daily 0530-2400 (except Shabbat), starting and finishing at the Central Bus Station, 108 Levinski Street.
Buy single trip tickets from the driver, or use a reloadable Rav-Kav smartcard. You can load this with a set number of trips or a one-day travelcard.
Taxis, whether hailed on the street or pre-booked, have meters charging either Tariff 1 (Sun-Fri 0530-2100) or Tariff 2 (every day 2101-0529 as well as weekends, holidays, and Shabbat). Tariff 2 rates are 25% higher than Tariff 1. The driver is legally obliged to activate the meter, and this is strictly enforced.
There are scores of small taxi firms and one-man cab operators in the city. A larger popular firm is Kastel Taxi (tel: +972 3 699 1296; www.kastel.co.il). Israel’s clever Get Taxi smartphone app (gett.com/il) contacts the nearest free cab and directs it to the customer.
A sherut is a shared taxi. The name literally means 'service', ie service taxi (but visitors should be aware that the plural, sherutim, also means 'toilets'). These stretched Mercedes or minibuses, seating up to 10, generally follow bus routes and can be hailed anywhere on the route. Some sheruts run on Shabbat. Fares are usually about the same as the bus fare.
Tel Aviv suffers from serious traffic problems, and parking is heavily controlled. The EasyPark smartcard system (www.easypark.co.il) will automatically deduct parking fees from the driver's credit or debit card. You can also buy traditional parking cards from street kiosks, post offices and gas stations.
Many streets have 'residents only' parking. Colour coded kerbs indicate the parking restrictions. Blue and white means you need a pre-paid parking card. Visitors should not park where there is any other kerbside colour. There are also unregulated pay-to-enter parking lots scattered about the city.
To hire a car you need a passport and a valid driving licence - drivers must be over 21, although those between the ages of 21 and 23 may be charged more for insurance. Car hire agencies also sell the mandatory insurance required in Tel Aviv.
The city has 70km (43 miles) of marked bike lanes and cycle routes, as well as its own bikeshare scheme called Tel-O-Fun (www.tel-o-fun.co.il/en). You can pick up the distinctive green bikes at numerous rental points in streets all over the city. There’s a basic subscription charge plus a timed usage rate, which is free for the first 30 minutes of any rental.