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Tel Aviv & Gush Dan

Tel AvivJune 1, 2010

Tel Aviv
June 1, 2010

As Tel Aviv is the largest metropolitan area in all of Israel, it is fitting that the city also be at the nexus of its transportation networks.  The Central Bus Station is the largest in Israel and among the largest bus stations in the entire world.  The Israel Railways network has its hub in Tel Aviv.  In addition, Tel Aviv is in the process of building a light rail system that will include several underground sections.

Unlike most other parts of the country, even while Egged enjoyed a virtual monopoly on bus services nearly everywhere, the primary bus operator in the Tel Aviv region is Dan.  Dan was founded in 1945 as a cooperative, though it was reorganized in 2002 as a limited company.  Dan has over 1,200 buses and 2,400 employees serving over 600,000 passengers each day.  Other bus operators have a presence in the region.  Metropoline and Kavim operate services to the northern and eastern suburbs, respectively and Afikim connects Tel Aviv to Ariel.

Since the construction of the Ayalon Highway was completed in 1993, Tel Aviv has been the hub of the Israel Railways network.  Four stations are located within Tel Aviv’s boundaries, and Tel Aviv Savidor-Merkaz served over 38,000 passengers each day in 2009.  Every station in the Israel Railways network can be reached without a change of trains from Tel Aviv, with the exception of Dimona.  Tel Aviv will be only a 35 minute trip away from Jerusalem once the high speed line to the capital is completed.

Tel Aviv has had plans to construct a subway since the 1960s, though in 2000 that plan was changed to a light rail.  Construction on the first line from Petach Tikva to Bat Yam via Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, and Tel Aviv began in 2015 with service expected to begin in 2021.  A second line from Herzliya to Rishon LeTzion via Tel Aviv and Holon is in the planning stages.  Plans call for up to six additional lines serving places such as Yahud, Or Yehuda, Givat Shmuel, Rehovot, Nes Tziona, Ra’anana, Hod Hasharon, and Netanya.

Dan MAN Standard Length Buses

Dan MAN standard length buses can be found on many routes in and around the Tel Aviv region. These buses have been replacing the high-floor, handicapped inaccessible Mercedes-Benz models over the course of many years.

Dan MAN Articulated Buses

Dan's articulated buses are found on its busiest and highest volume routes, including the new "Line 1" paralleling the future Tel Aviv Light Rail Red Line route. These buses have gradually replaced the Mercedes-Benz O 405 G models. The buses assigned to Line 1 are identical to those operated by a Dan subsidiary on the Metronit in Haifa and feature on board fare payment.

Dan Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Buses

Dan's Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses operate on routes with low ridership or that use streets that a standard bus would have difficulty navigating, such as Sheinkin Street.

Tel Aviv Area Dan Intercity Buses

Dan's intercity operations are limited; nearly all of its Tel Aviv area operations are intracity as opposed to intercity. That being said, one can find the Dan intercity fleet roaming through Tel Aviv now and again.

Tel Aviv & Gush Dan Egged Intracity Buses

Egged has a fairly limited presence in the Tel Aviv and Gush Dan areas, as these areas have been Dan strongholds for well over 65 years.

Tel Aviv Area Egged Taavura Buses

Egged Ta'avura is a subsidiary of Egged and Ta'avura that was founded in 2006. It operates services between Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva as well as other destinations in the northern Negev region.

Tel Aviv Area Metropoline Buses

Metropoline was founded in 2000 by Tour Bus and two other companies. Within Gush Dan, it operates routes connecting Tel Aviv with Herzliya, Ra'anana, and Kfar Saba.

Tel Aviv Area Kavim Buses

Kavim was founded in 2000 and initially operated in eastern Gush Dan, where the focus of its operations remain. Over the years, the company has added service in other parts of the country, including Afula and Tiberias. The company operates about 200 buses and employs about 700 drivers.

Tel Aviv Area Veolia (Connex) Buses

Connex ended its Tel Aviv operation (and the rest of its Israeli operations) in the fall of 2013.

Tel Aviv Area Afikim Buses

Afikim was founded in 2008 as a part of Sela Holdings. It began service that same year, operating a handful of routes connecting the West Bank to other parts of Israel. In 2013, it took over all of Connex's (Veolia's) bus routes, significantly expanding its network. As of 2014, it operates 145 lines with about 350 buses.