Call-Kav (or Kol-Kav - כל קו, meaning "any line" in Hebrew, also named "Israeli Transport Lines Portal" or "Public Transport Information Center") is the official journey planner that combines all bus and train companies in Israel, as well as the Jerusalem light rail and the Carmelit subway in Haifa.
Call-Kav provides information:
- via a call center: *8787,
- via a Hebrew-only website (callkav.gov.il or bus.gov.il),
- by sending a Hebrew SMS with a question to 8787.
Important things to know about Call-Kav
Here are some things you should take into account when using the Call-Kav system, even if you're just using the call center, because the call center representatives use a system similar to the one available at the Call-Kav website.
Call-Kav is not really a point-to-point journey planner. In the Call-Kav database every town is divided into neighbourhoods, and it searches for routes in neighbourhood resolution. This means that it's not capable of finding exact point-to-point solutions and calculating walking distances. When you ask for a route from address A to address B, the system will search for routes from somewhere in the pre-set neighbourhood in which address A is located to somewhere in the pre-set neighbourhood of address B.
Call-Kav does not support journeys with more than two transfers.
Call-Kav is based on the information system of the Egged bus company, and data about other companies was added later. You should be careful, as the system prefers routes involving Egged bus lines over other routes. Call center representatives will sometimes tell you that a certain bus line does not exist, just because it's not an Egged line, therefore you have to clarify that you're looking for lines of all companies.
Can I count on it?
Data about Egged bus lines is almost flawless, and data about lines of other companies is often more accurate than on their own websites. Even temporary route changes are reflected in the Call-Kav system.
However, it's always better to check on the operator's website for service updates, such as temporary route changes or disruptions of railway service. In some cases, even permanent and major changes are only published on the operator's website, and updated on Call-Kav with a delay of a few days or even weeks.
Be careful when planning journeys for Israeli holidays. With some bus companies (especially in the North: Nateev Express, Omni Express, Nazareth Transport and Tourism and Nazareth United Bus Services) the schedule for holidays and special days appears as if it was an ordinary weekday, and you'll see many buses that do not actually run on that day.