For such a big city, it is surprising that Tel Aviv does not have a subway system. Even Jerusalem just opened a popular light rail tram line. But that will be changing in the years to come as the city builds a light rail system. The 14-mile (22 km) Red Line is under construction and will run from Bat Yam through Jaffa and central Tel Aviv and on to Petach Tikva and the Central Bus Station. The first line is expected to be fully operational by 2017.
But for now eco-conscious Tel Avivians walk, bike and bus around the city. Tel Aviv has hopped on the bike sharing bandwagon with Tel-O-Fun. The bike sharing system launched in May and features 150 stations and 1,500 bikes. The program is still in the pilot phase so it is only available to annual subscribers. The bright green bikes can be seen all over the city and are quickly becoming the preferred mode of transportation for residents. Expect the bike sharing program to really take off once it opens up to short-term visitors from around the world.
Tel Aviv has 43 miles (70 km) of marked bike paths to take advantage of, including bike lanes along Rothschild Boulevard and along the beach promenade stretching from Jaffa north past the Tel Aviv Port.
The Port is where I rented a run-down mountain bike with the screechiest brakes in the Middle East. It was pure pleasure biking along the flat bike lanes with spectacular views of the late afternoon sun shining over the shimmering blue waters of the mighty Mediterranean Sea. I biked north past The Port and Sde Dov Airport to a scenic suburban beach that was less crowded than the packed tourist beaches in central Tel Aviv.
Besides promoting biking, Tel Aviv also encourages recycling with these large containers all over the city. The bins are aesthetically appealing with creative designs on the sides. It makes it easy to do the right thing with that empty Fanta plastic bottle you overpaid for and drank way too fast in the unbearable heat and humidity of a Tel Aviv summer.
Click here to read more observations of Tel Aviv on Josh's Travel Blog.
Here is video of me biking on the beach trail next to Sde Dov Airport north of the Tel Aviv Port.
Here are more photos from Tel Aviv-Yafo. Click here to see the set on Flickr.