Tel Aviv plans to build a subway but at the rate the project is progressing most locals admit that they would just as soon expect to see the Messiah. Until then, a combination of bus, taxi and bike will have to suffice.
Tel Aviv city buses are operated by Dan (639 4444; www.dan.co.il) and follow an efficient network of routes, running from 5.30am to midnight except Shabbat. The single fare is 5.20NIS, but for 12NIS you can buy a red pass (hofshi yomi), which allows one day of unlimited bus travel around Tel Aviv and its suburbs; it is valid from 9am until the end of the day.
Currently, these are the major Tel Aviv bus routes:
Bus No 10 Central train station via Arlosoroff St, Ben Yehuda St, Allenby St, Herbert Samuel Esplanade, Jaffa Rd and on to Bat Yam.
Bus No 18 Central train station along Petah Tikva Rd and Sha’ul HaMelech Ave to Ibn Gvirol St, then Frishman St, Dizengoff St, Pinsker St, Trumpeldor St and Ben Yehuda St, Allenby St, Yerushalayim Ave and on to Bat Yam.
Bus No 25 Tel Aviv University via the Diaspora Museum, then HaMaccabi St, Ibn Gvirol St, Arlosoroff St, then Shlomo HaMelech St, HaMelech George St, Allenby St and Carmel Market.
Bus No 4 Central bus station via Allenby St, Ben Yehuda St and Dizengoff St to the Reading terminal, north of the Yarkon River.
Bus No 5 Central bus station, along Allenby St, up Rothschild Blvd, along Dizengoff St, Nordau Ave, Ibn Gvirol St, Pinkas St, Weizmann St and HaMaccabi St and then back. Useful for the HI hostel, the Egyptian embassy, Habima Sq and Kikar Dizengoff.
Bus No 61 Along King George St, Dizengoff St, Arlosoroff St and Jabotinksy St to Ramat Gan in east Tel Aviv.
Sherut No 4 Same route as bus No 4 for the same price. Its advantage is that it’s more comfortable, taking only as many passengers as there are seats, and it’s quicker – once it’s full it only stops to let people off. It also operates on Shabbat (when the price doubles), between the northern end of Ben Yehuda St to the inter-urban sheruts at the bottom of Allenby St.
All Tel Aviv taxis charge by the meter. Plan on 20NIS to 25NIS for trips anywhere within the central city (if you have a group of four people it becomes more cost-effective than the bus). They operate according to two tariffs: the lower tariff between 5.30am and 9pm and the 25% higher night tariff between 9pm and 5am.
Tel Aviv is flat and traffic is relatively light so it’s easy to get around by bike. A few streets even have dedicated bike paths, such as Rothschild Blvd, Ben-Gurion Ave and Ben-Zion Ave. For rentals, try O-Fun (544 2292; 197 Ben Yehuda St), which rents bikes for 30NIS per day. Alternatively, Maslul has a bike that it lets out for day use (free).