Transportation in Palestine

In Palestine (West Bank), there are buses, shared bus, taxi and shared taxi (called “service”) as public transport.

Please check these entries for the cities as well.

How to get on a bus

Major lines

Jerusalem – Bethlehem (no.21), Jerusalem – Ramallah (no.18), Bethlehem – Hebron etc.

a big bus in Palestine
There are big buses as well as small buses.

They stop at bus terminals and bus stops. Check the destination before getting on. Pay first.

In Jerusalem, you might receive agorot coins. But in Palestine, 10 agorot coins don’t work for payment.

How to get a shared taxi

Major lines of shared taxi

Bethlehem – Ramallah, Ramallah – Nablus, Bethlehem – Hebron etc.

Bus terminal in Nablus
Shared taxis between cities are yellow vans.

Shared taxi is a small van transportation max for 7 passengers.

There is no timetable. The shared taxi departs when 7 seats get full.

The fare is fixed depending on the destination. However, if the shared taxi departs with less than 6 passengers, they’ll have to pay for a vacancy.

How to use a shared taxi

  1. go to bus terminal (strangely enough, it’s called “bus” terminal)
  2. tell your destination to the drivers, they’ll you which shared taxi you should take.
  3. ride on it, then when it becomes full, it departs.

About the fare, ask it to the driver or other passengers when you ride on. When the others start paying on the way, just pay like them. The driver gives the change back.

In general, we get off the shared taxi at a terminal or place for parking. But you can ask the driver an exact point (it must be on the way) where you wish to get off.

How to get a taxi

This is just like a taxi we know. It’s useful to go & come between the city center and accommodation.

Taxi in Palestine
Yellow cabs. Check the local prices with locals before riding on.

How to use a taxi

  1. Find a yellow sedan, then raise the hand up.
  2. When the driver stops for you, tell him your destination and ask the fare. He might tell you the cost a bit expensively. It’s better to know local price first.
  3. The fare can be negotiable. When you get an acceptable price, ride onto the taxi.
  4. When the taxi arrives the destination, pay.

I’ve used taxis in Palestine (West Bank) and never been ripped-off so far. However, the drivers always tell me a bit more expensive fare.

For example, the local price between the check-point and city center in Bethlehem is 15 NIS (2012). Even if the distance is shorter and local price is 10 NIS, they tell the foreigners “15 NIS”. If you need, try to negotiate with them.

How to get a “service”

It looks like a taxi, but it has “black line”. That’s “service”.

Service in Palestine
Can you find the difference with taxi? It has black lines on the front-side and the back-side.

“Service” system is a combination of bus and taxi. They have fixed routes and stops for the passengers at everywhere on the route. It costs only some shekels.

Actually, it’s difficult to use for foreigners who don’t know the routes. Normally the “service” go and come around main streets and city center.

How to use a “service”

  1. Find a “service”, then raise the hand up.
  2. When the driver stops for you, tell him your destination and ask the fare. They won’t rip-off in general.
  3. Ride onto a “service”, then pay to the driver.
  4. When the “service” reaches your destination, tell the driver that you want to get off. He’ll stop for you.