Jerusalem Central Bus Station
The Jerusalem Central Bus Station is the main bus depot in Jerusalem, Israel and one of the busiest bus stations in the country. Located on Jaffa Road near the entrance to the city, it serves Egged , Superbus and Dan intercity bus routes. City buses pick up and discharge passengers across the street on Jaffa Road and on Zalman Shazar Boulevard, which can be accessed via an underground pedestrian passageway.

The Central Bus Station opened in September 2001 on the site of the old Jerusalem Bus Station, built in the 1960s. The old station was a long, single-story building with an open-air bus depot behind it. Passengers embarked and disembarked at curbside on an outdoor platform. In the 1950s, the main bus station was located in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, behind the Pillar Building ("Binyan Ha'amudim") on Jaffa Road. Jerusalem's new bus station was commissioned in order to accommodate the increasing flow of bus traffic as well as to implement security protocols for screening incoming and outgoing passengers. During construction of the new bus station, operations were moved to a large, two-level parking lot several blocks east on Jaffa Road.

Interior design
The new Central Bus Station has two levels of underground parking, three main levels, and five upper floors of office space. The first main level is a shopping concourse and food court. The second main level serves as both a shopping concourse and the arrivals hall for incoming bus passengers. Since the building is constructed on the side of a hill, the first and second main levels both have a ground-level entrance/exit to Jaffa Road. Besides retail stores, the concourse includes bakery outlets, a video game parlor, and free-standing gift sellers. The third main level serves as the departures hall, with 22 bus platforms. Passengers wait at numbered doors for the bus to pull into its slot in the indoor parking lot, then go through the door into the parking lot to board. Large digital display boards post upcoming departure times. While most platforms accommodate more than one bus route, popular routes, such as Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, have their own designated platform and run more frequently. Passengers and their baggage are screened by security personnel every time they enter the Central Bus Station building. That is, departing passengers must go through security clearance when they enter the building from Jaffa Road and may then board buses without additional security checks. Riders returning to Jerusalem are dropped off in the garage on the other side of the building. They may choose to exit out to the street"in which case they do not need to pass through security"or to go into the bus station building"in which case they must go through a security check. People wishing to visit only the shopping concourses must also clear security. As is the case for most commercial security checkpoints in Israel, gun owners are exempt from security searches, it being presumed that anyone who has been vetted by the government to carry a loaded firearm in public has no criminal or terrorist intentions. In addition to building security, Egged has its own team of uniformed security personnel patrolling the indoor bus parking lots.

Train stations

Jerusalem Light Rail The First Line

Air Force Street

Duchifat Boulevard

Education Campus ( Pisgat Ze'ev)

Yekutiel Adam Boulevard

Beit Hanina

Shuafat Central

Shuafat South

To depot

French Hill

Ammunition hill

Sheikh Jarrah ( Shimon HaTzadik)

Shivtei Israel ( Saint George Street)

Damascus Gate

Safra Square

King George V Street

Davidka Square

Mahane Yehuda

Jaffa Road West

Jerusalem Central Bus Station

Ben Dor

Beit HaKerem

Denya (Denmark) Square

Yefe Nof

A station of the upcoming Jerusalem Light Rail system has been constructed around the area of the former bus stops in front of the Central Bus Station building; it is scheduled to open on May 7, 2011.A new Heavy rail station, Jerusalem Binyanei HaUma Railway Station, of the planned high-speed Israel Railways line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, is being constructed in the outdoor square between the Central Bus Station on Jaffa Road and Shazar Boulevard, it will be an underground terminus, scheduled to open in 2015. There are future plans to extend the high-speed train line from the Central Bus Station to the Jerusalem Malha Train Station, the terminus of the current old railroad.

The following bus services access the Jerusalem Central Bus Station: Local: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 39, 45, 67, 74, 75 Intercity: 122, 123, 124, 142, 143, 147, 148, 150, 160, 161, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 170, 171, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 181, 183, 400, 404, 405, 406, 416, 417, 420, 423, 430, 432, 433, 434, 435, 437, 438, 440, 443, 444, 446, 448, 470, 480, 486, 487, 920, 930, 940, 947, 948, 949, 955, 960, 961, 962, 963, 966

The decision to include a shopping concourse within the bus station (and through which passengers must pass on their way to the departures level) met with vocal criticism from rabbis and leaders in the local Haredi community. Although the bus station/shopping mall design was already commonplace in other cities, the old Jerusalem bus station"as well as the temporary bus station erected during construction"only contained a small coffee shop and cigarette and magazine stands. To the Haredim, the prospect of a multi-level shopping mall would create an atmosphere of levity diametrically opposed to their modest lifestyle, exerting an untoward influence on their youth as they boarded the buses. Community activists had already begun operating their own " mehadrin" (religiously-conscious) bus line between Bnei Brak and Jerusalem in order to pressure Egged to open a similar line. " Mehadrin" bus lines are characterized by separate seating of men and women and no radio being played by the driver. Now activists began petitioning the Ministry of Transportation to allow Egged to open a departure point for buses traveling to Haredi destinations that would board outside the Central Bus Station. After protracted negotiations, Egged opened a special platform (#22) in the Central Bus Station which is located far from the other platforms, where passengers boarding its Route 400 to Bnei Brak sit in relative privacy. In addition, the bus company also agreed to launch a new, " mehadrin" Route 402 between Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. This route departs from Egged's city bus terminus at Har Hotzvim in northern Jerusalem, accommodating Haredi riders who wish to avoid the Central Bus Station altogether. The Har Hotzvim terminus has since expanded to include " mehadrin" bus departures to other Haredi destinations such as Safed, Ashdod, Haifa, Arad, Kiryat Ata and more. A second bone of contention was the proposed opening of a McDonald's franchise in the food court. Most McDonald's restaurants, including the one in the Jerusalem city center, do not have kashrut certification from the rabbinate. Although this McDonald's franchise was in the process of applying for a kashrut certificate, and even completed its construction accordingly, the rabbinate conditioned its certification on McDonald's making all its other current and future outlets in the city kosher. McDonald's rejected this demand and announced it would open without a certificate, whereupon Haredi activists threatened a mass boycott of the Central Bus Station by Haredi bus passengers if the McDonald's did open. This dispute was later resolved by changing the name of the restaurant to "M-Express" with the M being the familiar golden arches , and all of the food being exactly the same, but now all certified Kosher by the rabbinate. The Natzba real-estate firm which owns the bus station responded by canceling McDonald's contract. McDonald's took it to court and won; Natzba was forced to pay it 100,000 shekels in pre-trial expenses. McDonald's opened its franchise in the Central Bus Station without rabbinical supervision or approval. The Haredi boycott never materialized.

Mount Herzl

Building Activity

  • Jonathan Heyman
    Jonathan Heyman commented
    Train station opening is delayed. Also routes of haredim are different now.
    about a year ago via
  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via