Transport in Israel: Wikis


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The Egged Bus cooperative
Map of the Night Lines initiative
Port of Ashdod

Transportation in Israel is well developed, and is continuously being upgraded to meet the demands of population growth, political factors, the Israel Defense Forces, tourism and increased traffic.




Israel has an advanced road network spanning over 17,870 km of roads, of which 230 km are classified as freeways. The network spans the whole country.

Bus services

Buses are the country's main form of public transport. The Egged Bus Cooperative is Israel's largest bus company, and operates routes throughout the country. Bus routes in some areas are operated by smaller carriers, the largest being the Dan Bus Company, operating routes in Gush Dan. Kavim is the next largest.

Bus stations in Israel, other than standalone bus stops, come in two types: terminals (masof, pl. mesofim) and central stations (tahana merkazit). Each terminal serves a number of routes, usually over a dozen, while a central station may serve over a hundred bus routes. The largest central bus terminal in the country is the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station which is also the largest bus terminal in the world.

Israel also has a share taxi service (Hebrew - Sherut), run by several private companies, depending on location, in addition to regular taxicab services.



History and development

Many of Israel's railway lines were constructed before the founding of the state during Ottoman and British rule. The first line was the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway, followed by the Jezreel Valley railway, which formed part of the greater Hejaz railway. World War I brought the creation of multiple new lines out of military needs: Portions of what is now the Coastal railway were built simultaneously by the Turkish and British and later merged during the British Mandate. Southern lines were also built by the warring states—from the north by the Ottomans, and from Rafah in the west by the British.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, railway development stagnated, and a number of lines (notably, the Jezreel Valley railway and the Eastern railway) were abandoned altogether. Development restarted in the 1990s, the opening of Tel Aviv's Ayalon railway in 1993 signaling a new era of rail development. Lines under construction in the 2000s include the high-speed railway to Jerusalem, an extension of the coastal railway directly from Tel Aviv to Ashdod through the northern Shephelah, and a line from Ashkelon to Beersheba via Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim, as well as a complete reconstruction of the line from Lod to Beersheba.

Railway links with adjacent countries

Light rail/subway

Two light rail systems are in advanced planning stages or under construction in Israel - one in Tel Aviv and one in Jerusalem.

A subway also exists in Haifa, called Carmelit. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the shortest subway system in the world, being the second smallest track network (after the Tünel in Istanbul,) but being the smallest "system" by virtue of being the only rail network in the city.

Cable cars

Israel's longest cable car - the Manara Cliffs cable car

There are currently six tourist and leisure oriented cable car systems in Israel: In Haifa connecting Bat Galim on the coast to the Stella Maris observation deck and monastery atop Mount Carmel.[1]. In Kiryat Shmona, linking it to Menara 400 meters above the town. There are several chairlifts and cable cars in the Mount Hermon ski resort in the Golan Heights. The historic site of Masada, near the Dead Sea, has a cable car system to enable tourists to quickly reach to mountain top site. In the Superland amusement park near Rishon LeZion; and in the Rosh HaNikra grottoes site, a chalk cliff and cavernous tunnels on the Mediterranean cost.

A public transport-oriented cable car is being developed in in Haifa—the Haifa Cable Car.

Air transport

As of 2008, there were 47 airports in Israel, the largest, and most well known being Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) located near Tel Aviv which is the destination of most international flights to Israel. Israel's largest airline is El Al Israel Airlines which was previously government owned but was recently privatised. Flights from Israel travel to North America, Europe, the Far East, and neighboring countries in the Middle East. Domestic flights are quite common in Israel, especially between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and the southern city of Eilat, international flights to which travel to Ovda International Airport nearby. In 2007, for the first time, passenger numbers on international flights at TLV had surpassed the 10 million mark. Boeing estimates that 60-80 new aircraft will be purchased by Israeli airlines over the next 20 years.[2]

According to the Israel Civil Aviation Authority, as of 31 January 2008, Israel's civil aircraft fleet consisted of 53 aircraft; 47 passenger planes, 5 freighters and one convertible. 41 of these were Boeing jets, 2 Airbus, and 10 turbo-prop produced by ATR and Dash.[3]

Airports with paved runways

  • Total: 30
    • over 3,047 m: 2
    • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    • 914 to 1,523 m: 10
    • under 914 m: 6 (2008)

Airports with unpaved runways

  • Total: 17
    • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    • 914 to 1,523 m: 2
    • under 914 m: 14 (2008)


  • 3 (2007)


Ports and harbors

Mediterranean Sea

Red Sea

On the Gulf of Eilat:

Merchant marine

Note: There are many ships owned and operated by Israeli companies but not counted in this list as they are operated under foreign flags of convenience. For example, Israel's Zim Navigation is not only the largest cargo shipping company in Israel but also one of the largest such companies worldwide.


Israel has 176 km of gas pipelines, 442 km of oil pipelines, and 261 km of pipelines for refined products.

Also see Trans-Israel pipeline.


  1. ^ "Haifa". Weizmann Institute. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-02-22.  
  2. ^ Israel special - Flag carrier El Al thrives despite high fuel costs and competition
  3. ^ PORT2PORT - Israel's Trade Portal

External links


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