Thursday, August 2, 2012

Public Transportation, Never Dull, Part 1

Since we're carless, not car owners, I'm dependent on public transportation and the chessed, good will or mercy or kind deeds, of others.  For my past trip to the states I took public transportation to and from all of the airports, except in Arizona, though I could have used their lightrail between my sister's home and the airport.

Especially since I'm now a senior citizen for both Egged buses and NJ Transit, the price is right for sure.

Going to Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport, aka NaTBa"G, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that davka when I needed to transfer from my Shiloh bus to the one to the airport at the Jerusalem Bus Station, the buses didn't let us off inside.  We had to get off outside the building and climb down all sorts of steps to get to Jaffa Road and the main entrance to the bus station. 

To make matters even more complicated, my suitcase had slid to the other side of the bus, and I had to go around the bus to retrieve it.  Luckily my big suitcase was rather empty, so with the carry-on strapped to my back I made my way down the stairs and up the street.

Just to let you know, it's really a three buses ride.  There was the one from Shiloh and then the Jerusalem to NaTBa"G only goes to a junction nearby where you take another bus.  All of the drivers were helpful and patient.  I'm not sorry that I traveled this way.  It was definitely doable for me and saved me a lot of money.  When you have more time than money, it's worth it. 

I probably could have found cheaper flights, but I'm glad that I didn't.  I was comfortable on the flights I took, more comfortable than on some of my other travel experiences.  You have to know where to do the saving.

PS On my return, the bus did enter the bus station, so it was no problem getting to my Shiloh bus.  But you should know that unlike the shuttle on the way to the airport, which is the same stop, when going to Jerusalem, there's a bit of a walk and a wide street to cross in order to get to the bus to Jerusalem.


Pesky Settler said...

One one of our trips to the US, when we were still living in Maale Levona and weren't traveling with any kids, we did the public transportation to Ben Gurion route. It wasn't bad and of course took longer than taking a taxi, but it was also MUCH less expensive.

This time, since we're traveling with small kids, and live in Ariel where the fee is less (but still more than going by buses), we're taking a taxi.

For me, nowadays, the 'hassling with the kids' is often a bigger factor than 'how much cheaper is the alternative'.

Peace of mind and less stress costs too.

Batya said...

Pesky, for just me, this is great. Of course with kids you have a very different calculation. How much is a taxi to natbag from Ariel?