Now that I’ve been getting around on only four wheels (as opposed to 4386524 wheels on a bus), I’ve totally forgotten what it’s like to use public transportation. Yes, it’s only been a couple weeks, but somehow, I’ve completely lost the former public transportation patriotism I held so dear.
So, for everyone I’ve left behind as I rev the engine of this bad boy (Ford Focus?), I can only offer as much help as I can. Here’s a quick summary of some transportation websites:
The redesigned Egged website is pretty impressive for an Israeli online service. As far as intercity lines, you can easily look up routes and schedules, order tickets and now they have a new SMS service: Text to the number 2800 (in Hebrew only) what you need to know and they will get back to you right away with an answer. Actually, I’ve tried it and it took a few tries before I got closer to the answer… But Egged’s phone service is always there and pretty decent (03-6948888).
One issue for some might be that although they claim to be available in English and Russian as well as Hebrew, most of the cooler features are not actually in those languages.
Another major lacking is that there is no updated bus map for Jerusalem. I guess they make up for this by having a fairly good system of buses for the city, as well as the recently-added night lines (which a lot of us expected to die out after the summer).
But you can get a historical overview of Egged! There’s even an Egged museum.
Dan has a friendlier site than Egged; in Jerusalem Egged is your only choice and in Tel Aviv and other area, Dan is the leading bus company, so it really doesn’t matter which site is nicer.
You can look up routes between Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas. It’s the same concept as what Egged did. And like Egged, they are also lame with the bus maps.
It’s nice to know that there are plenty of sheruts in the Tel Aviv area that operate along the same routes as the bus lines. It just means more available transportation.
They have the timetables although they are not as user friendly or easy to read as when you can enter where you’re coming from and where you’re going with a drop down menu.
For all those living the suburban dream in Modiin (and Lod, and Shoham?), Superbus is what you need to get to… well, a few places and every 20 minutes. It seems that for these residents that aren’t too many choices, so you pretty much have to put your travel plans in their hands. Of course… There is the train… if it’s running of course.
Well, the whole Israel Railways train system is undergoing renovations. Sure, some of the trains are running, but the website is pretty lame for now. It’s sole purpose at the moment seems to be offering announcements about what is closed and what’s not running. It’s a shame, because the trains are supposed to be the easiest and fastest and more environmentally-friendly way to travel.
Ok… I don’t know much about the where and how of Connex, but their site is the most professional-looking and easy to navigate. I suppose that’s logical, it’s also the one that is owned by an international company. Interestingly, there English version of the site is… “comming soon”. I guess I spoke too… early.
Otobusim is one site with information on seemingly all of the transportation systems in Israel. It includes routes by: Egged, Dan, Metropoline, Kaviim, Connex, Metrodan, Superbus, and the Haifa Carmalit.
Doesn’t seem to be available in any other languages aside from Hebrew, though. However, the best thing about this one is that it has one page with all the other companies’ contact details… And we all speak the language of phone numbers, right?
That pretty much sums it up for now… I’m sure there are more sites out there, and feel free to leave them below.