Showing posts with label Public Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Transportation. Show all posts

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #3

Subtle style yet incredible moving, street artists can be as skillful and meaningful as political as any mainstream artists.
This is a third in a series of Tel Aviv central bus station "legal graffiti" series. (see article 1 and article 2) Some of the wall size murals are subtle, hints of something dark or sinister. Interesting how street artists can be as subtle, intentioned and political as mainstream artists. The interesting collection at this hidden spot reveals a wide range of styles. The messages are not always subtle or anti establishment. There are beautiful "Keith Haring" like impressions. This is expected with the western (especially American) influence in the urban gritty lifestyle of Tel Avivians. There are also influenced of Arab and Russian drawing styles. Both a strong component of daily Israeli experience. More "legal graffiti" coming - not just from the central bus station.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #2

Futuristic, robotic funky graffiti mural in the Tel Aviv #Israel central bus station | Copyright © 2015 DAVider

The last post included a picture of a graffiti mural at the Tel Aviv central bus station. While the project as a whole received criticism, overall the station still serves thousands of riders every day. The station serves two large bus companies: Dan and Egged. Dan serves the central region of Israel. Here riders transfer mostly from buses and trains (there is a train station walking distance from the station) to destinations usually 20 to 50 kilometers from the city. Egged buses serves mostly the what is referred to as the "peripheral" regions of Israel, outside the central region (Gush Dan). The lower floors serves as a large mall, with the first floor (essentially the basement below ground) as one large shoe emporium. Yes, we have shoes from as low as $5 flip-flops to mid-range stilettos (this phenomena is worth a series of articles all by itself). The sixth floor is the Dan bus lines center. The seventh floor is the Egged bus line center. The murals, sort of graffiti done legally, are on the seventh floor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station

Beautiful mural size "legal graffiti"; Tel Aviv central bus station; 7th floor | 
Copyright © 2015 DAVider

The story of Tel Aviv's "new" central bus station is an interesting one. Tel Aviv's "new" bus station is essentially a neglected and mostly unused "white elephant". Mostly turned into one part bus exchange (not useful due to the neglect of investment in the intercity bus system) - and part outlet and low cost shops mainly catering to foreign workers and young army soldiers. Combination of fast change, with an incredibly fast growth in private car ownership, with slow bureaucratic government decision process, ended up with essentially an outdated central bus station. Located near an old (what Israelis call "THE OLD") open air bus station, makes for a strange and often ridiculed example of the ineptness of Israel's government. Sometimes blamed at the transportation department, sometimes blamed at the ineptness of government to carry out large complex projects. But overall simply and example of what happens in Israel when government (but not only government) stays in one place too long without noticing real life changes. More on this in later posts...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Travel to Tel Aviv - it's not just fun and games

From the stories here you may think that Tel Aviv is just fun and games. Shopping, dining out, lying on the beach, hanging out in cafes... well, that's just the leisure and lifestyle part of this city. Just as important, Tel Aviv is the true center of commerce, business, technology, investment... and basically the place people come to meet and make the "deals". Not that there are no other places to meet in Israel, there are lots of wonderful places, both quiet and comfortable. Green areas like old kibbutzim, quiet areas like hotels on the Dead Sea and the Red Sea (at Eilat). Green areas like small bed and breakfasts (called Tzimmerim - in the German tradition) up in Gallil, from the sea (Mediterranean) to the sea (of Gallily). But to see people, go to conferences, get business services, people come to Tel Aviv. Like all business centers the one thing people complain about most is the travel. Roads are clogged beyond belief on rush hours, buses run late and are filled with sweaty riders and cell phone screaming teeny-boppers, taxis are too expensive if you come from anywhere but a close suburb, trains don't run often enough and can also be full. Oh, the thought of getting on the highway or a train one more time. Once you get to Tel Aviv there is never enough parking, there is a ticket writer on every corner, and the bus stop is never where you want it.

Nicely flowing traffic into Tel Aviv on the coast road (Hertzel facing McDonald's)
OK, you get the point. But it's really not that bad, compare to LA traffic, NY bus and subway, Rome or Paris drivers, and London parking. In some of these cities you actually pay just for the privilege of driving your own car into the city. Not here! Actually if you know where you are going and have a little time, there are parking lots in most big buildings and public areas (Dizengoff Center, Azrielli, T"A University and fairgrounds, large hotels, etc.) Traffic is only really bad if you come the absolute peak hours. From 7:00AM to 9:00AM anywhere coming into Tel Aviv you are going to find a traffic jam. In the evening from 4:00PM to 6:00PM it's just as bad as the morning. But if you avoid these hours, you are going to be OK. But for a big city, Tel Aviv is not that bad. Traffic is bad but not everywhere and not every day, but you will have to sit in the car and listen to that radio talk or your favorite iPod collection. Once you figure out where you are going, there are plenty of ways to avoid the big intersections with the most amount of traffic.
Buses are comfortable, run all the time, and go everywhere, but you are still stuck in traffic!
Buses and trains are a whole other story. Trains are great if you are coming and going to where the stations are. The trains from Modiin and from Petach Tiqva are a new addition and you will not be traveling alone during rush hours. They will also save you a great deal of time if you don't have to trek from the stations too much. Buses have the same issues as cars on the highway, there are no high speed lanes in and out of Tel Aviv. So if traffic is at a stand still, so is your bus. But once you get used to a certain bus line you may get to like it. If you catch the bus early in the route you will get a seat. Than, put on these fancy headphones and ride with your favorite tunes. If the ride is longer than 20 or 30 minutes that means the line is not going to run very often, so make sure you don't miss the 7:30 bus because the next one could be 20 to 25 minutes away. Anyway, if you need to get into and out of Tel Aviv, no big deal -- but you better get used to it and figure out what you need.
Tel Aviv is working very hard to make travel easy. Roads are in good shape and there are construction projects to bypass heavy intersections, it's just that construction always take years longer than needed. The train system is moving along, but it is very expensive to construct rail lines and stations are very slowly being built. Actually the train system is already suffering from under capacity, but you don't have this rush of trains like in Calcutta (we are going to eventually learn how the Indians do it). Travel is one aspect of Tel Aviv that is actually working, the city is a usable business center - YOU CAN GET   H E R E !   Which is one thing that we learned from the bigger cities, which you can't get in and out of as easily!

      Next time - alternative transport-ation: bikes, tus-tus, and a board or tiny-wheels. Read More...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round ~ or do they?

The bus takes me to my job every morning as I engage in my nanny duties, with great pleasure and dedication. It is necessary for me to travel an hour or even longer each day (each way!) This makes for a very early rise and along and late ride home. There are no complaints here. I love being a nanny but the getting there and back is a story worth telling. I have prayed for Mary Poppins' Umbrella on more than one occasion!
A new company with brand new shiny vehicles have brought "better" service to the area of Givat Shmuel since August of 2007. The fairy tale ends the first day as the bus arrives at 7:00 AM and speeds down Jabotinsky as usual. The bus does not make its usual turn into B'nei B'rak (remember that story? and the first one?) but continues straight as 6 or 7 of us jump up and ask for an explanation. We get the story of a new bus route as of today and the 69 bus will no longer go through B'nai B'rak!! What about Givat Shmuel? "Its OK - Its OK, says the bus driver - everyone will be fine". It seems the Hebrew explanation is not good enough for Hebrew speakers and we all exit the but. The explanation was so simple, but the driver "from hell" just kept his secret. The bus uses the highway behind B'nai B'rak and exits off by Givat Shmuel and everything is OK. We poor uninformed passengers waited for another 69 bus which of course never showed up or would never show up again in B'nai B'rak. A small notice of the change would have been so nice. Hello new company!

New buses for Frankie
The wheels on the bus continue to go 'round and 'round and the next day we all found our way to our jobs on time. The secret was out. The company has a completely new route but the passengers find out by accident and stress! The wheels turn every 1/2 hour. This is acceptable but of course not dependable. The drivers "from hell" have a very difficult way of telling time and being late by 45 minutes is not unusual.
The driver I meet with every day suffers from road rage! How is that possible you ask? A bus driver is calm, patient, a trained excellent professional. WRONG!!
This man is on a mission of upside-down wheels. He cuts in and out of traffic, pays little attention to the comforts of his passengers and lays on the horn way too much. He resents having to stop to pick up people and many times just does not do that. No way you say!? I have been left waiting at a stop numerous times. I have seen people running to the bus and just ignored. YES WAY!
The "driver from hell" also enjoys a chat with a friendly passenger quite often. The manor women stand by his side as they solve "the world's problems" as the rest of us sit white knuckled waiting for the driver to peek at the road. I swear this is the case.
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round in this manner any way, while all the complaints seem to change nothing!! This morning "the driver from hell" pulled his most amazing childish feat to date. One woman entered the bus and apparently had no money for payment. She was a young woman and was trying to explain a late payment but I was not certain. The next thing we know the driver and this woman were yelling at each other. The driver insisted she leave the bus and she would not! He stopped the bus and screamed at her to exit. She refused and the rest of us were in a state of shock. The woman screamed back and the wheels on the bus did NOT GO 'round and 'round! Was he going to leave this bus? Scary as another passenger gave the young woman her punch pass to use, but "the driver from hell" refused to allow her to use it. The screaming continued and the bus stayed by the curb for five minutes until he finally gave in and punched the hole in the pass. The young woman sat down, the driver turned the bus on, and away we went. This was just another ride to work for me. My main concern was the temper of "Mr. driver from hell" would he pick up anyone else? Would he actually stop at my stop? Was he wrong?!
Two stops later the pennyless woman came up to the punch card donor and GAVE HER money for the ride! WHAT WAS THAT?!?!
I have two more months to deal with "the driver from hell". My new job is much closer to my home and I have alternative bus routes to get me there. I hope we all live that long and the wheels keep on turning. Mary Poppins may I PLEASE borrow your umbrella for two months???
//from our roving reporter, once again -- thanks Frankie //the Editor Read More...