Transportation in Palestine

In Palestine (West Bank), there are buses, shared buses, taxis, and shared taxis (called services) 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
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, ten agorot coins don’t work for payment.

How to get a shared taxi

Major lines of shared taxi

  • Bethlehem – Ramallah
  • Ramallah – Nablus
  • Bethlehem – Hebron
The bus terminal in Nablus
Shared taxis between cities are yellow vans.

A shared taxi is a small van transportation with a max of seven passengers.

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

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

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

About the fare, ask it the driver or other passengers when you ride on. When the others start paying on the way, 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

Taxis in Palestine are just like the taxies we know. It’s practical to go & come between the city center and accommodation.

Taxi in Palestine
Yellow cabs. Check the local prices with locals before riding on.
  1. Find a yellow sedan, then raise your hand.
  2. When the driver stops for you, tell him your destination and ask for the fare. He might offer you the cost a bit expensively. It’s better to know the local price first.
  3. The fare can be negotiable. When you get an acceptable price, ride in a taxi.
  4. When the taxi arrives at the destination, pay.

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

For example, the local price between the checkpoint and the city center in Bethlehem is 15 NIS (2012). Even if the distance is the 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 lines; That’s a service.

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

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

It’s hard to use for foreigners who don’t know the routes. In general, the service go and come around the main streets and city center.

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

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