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CaesareaOctober 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Despite being a fairly young country, Israel has a very well developed transportation network consisting of various modes.  Buses are the primary form of public transportation in almost every part of the country.  In 2009, there were approximately 654 million bus trips taken nationwide.  Service is provided by different companies in different parts of the country, although the Egged Bus Cooperative is by far the largest of these companies.  As of 2016, It operates about 37 percent of the bus routes within Israel, including all intracity service in Jerusalem and Haifa and the majority intercity routes throughout the country.  Egged has a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles serving over 45,000 people each day.  Dan Bus Company is the primary bus operator in the Tel Aviv area.  Other companies include Kavim, Superbus, and Egged Ta’avura.  Metronit, Israel’s first bus rapid transit system, opened in Haifa in 2013, and other cities have designated bus lanes to decrease travel times.

Rail transport is not nearly as well developed in most parts of the country, but it is becoming a more common mode of public transit.  Israel Railways is the national rail operator, but many of its operations are concentrated in the Tel Aviv area and along the Mediterranean coast.  Several extensions of the existing lines are in the construction stages, including a high speed line that will connect Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The Carmelit in Haifa has the distinction of being Israel’s only subway and the world’s smallest subway; it only runs about a mile and has only 6 stops.  However, as of February 2017, service is suspended indefinitely due to damage from a fire that must be repaired.  Israel’s first light rail system opened in Jerusalem on August 19, 2011 after many years of construction delays.  Construction on the Tel Aviv light rail system, which will include several underground sections, began in 2015.