Traveling Within Israel

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Local Transportation

Because of the central location of our campus, it is easy and relatively quick to walk to most places in the city. However, there are also several accessible public transportation options:

Busses

Busses are a safe and inexpensive way for students to get around the country. Israeli Egged buses are available both for rides within Jerusalem (for around $1.75 for a one-way ride) and to the rest of the country from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station (prices will vary). Note that Israeli buses will not run on Shabbat. Arab busses can take students into the West Bank to places like Bethlehem and will run 7 days a week. Student use of public busses may be restricted during times of unrest in Israel.

Light Rail Train

A light rail train runs on Jaffa Street through West Jerusalem and is a convenient way to travel to the shuk, Central Bus Station, Yad va Shem, and Mt. Scopus. A one-way trip costs the approximate shekel equivalent of $1.75, and tickets can be purchased at light rail stops. Note that the light rail will not run in Jerusalem on Shabbat.

Rav-Kav Card

Students may choose to purchase a Rav-Kav card and pre-load money onto it for rides on the light rail or bus system. With this card, passengers will ride public transportation at a discount and transfer for free within one hour. Bring your passport to purchase the card.

Gett App

The Gett App in Israel works like Uber or Lyft does in the US. If you have a smart phone, you can download it from your app store. You will have to complete a profile, including a method of payment, before you can use it. Gett allows you to use regular and XL vehicles, as well as vehicles equipped with child seating.

Taxis

It is easy and relatively inexpensive to take a taxi to get around in Jerusalem, especially if you share the ride with a friend. Even though it is common practice in Israel for the passenger to ride in the front seat with the driver, we do not recommend it, especially if you are a woman and riding alone. Taxis are always available at Jaffa Gate, or are easily flagged down on the street. You may also call Rehavia Taxi (Agron Street) 625-4444. To catch a taxi on the street, point down at the road in front of you with your extended index finger. A “hitchhiker’s thumb” is not understood in Israel. Either agree on a set price to your destination before getting in the cab or ask them to use the meter.

Sheruts

A sherut is a shared taxi that runs on a set route between large cities (such as between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) or between Ben Gurion airport and campus. Sheruts operate every day of the week in Jerusalem, but run less frequently on Saturday (Shabbat). You may pick up a sherut to Tel Aviv at the corner of Jaffa Road and Rav Kook Street, or call for an airport sherut at 623-1231 or 625-7227.

Traveling Documents

It is important that students keep their passports in a safe place. As a backup, it’s a good idea to keep one copy of your ID page and visa pages of your passport with you at all times and another copy of the same pages in a secure place.

You will need your passport to do at least the following:

  • Exchange money at the bank (but not at a moneychanger)
  • Mail or pick up packages at the post office
  • Receive health care at an emergency clinic or at the hospital
  • Rent an apartment
  • Visit the Knesset
  • Cross a checkpoint into or out of the West Bank
  • Travel to Jordan or Egypt