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World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > Israel > Tel Aviv

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Getting around Tel Aviv

Public transport

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.

To use them, it is best to purchase a reloadable Rav-Kav smartcard as buying a single-trip bus ticket can be tricky. This is because some buses allow you to purchase a ticket directly from the driver by using notes or coins, but others buses only allow you to purchase a ticket on board from an automated machine which only accepts coins or credit cards.

Taxis

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, although some drivers who pick up foreign visitors from major train and bus stations may be reluctant to do so.

There are scores of small taxi firms and one-man cab operators in the city. There is no Uber but you can order a taxi with a Gett app (gett.com/il) which 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. They are cheaper than taxis.

Driving

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.

Car hire

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.

Major firms include Eldan (tel: +972 3 527 1166; www.eldan.co.il/en), Avis (tel: +972 3 527 1752; www.avis.co.il) and Hertz (tel: +972 3 527 9821; www.hertz.co.il).

Bicycle hire

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.

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