1) ...Masada: there's a direct bus #384, the price was 29.50 NIS.
2) ...Jerusalem: I had to connect in Be'er Sheva, using bus #388 (fare: 11.30 NIS), then from Be'er Sheva I took bus #470 to Jerusalem's bus station (31.50 NIS).
3) ...Tel Aviv: there's a direct bus that I took after the Sabbath was over, the 389. The Saturday I took it, there was one at 6pm and one at 9pm, and a lot of people taking that line, so be prepared to push your way in. The bus got filled up quickly so the bus driver told us that another bus was on the way, and 15 minutes later there was another bus. I paid 38.50 NIS.
All the prices here are as of May 2010 and for an adult, one way.
Here in Israel because of the religious laws there is usually no public transportation to be found. The buses do not run at all, nor does the train. The "sherut", a taxi that runs a fixed route like a bus is also shut down. There are private taxis, but usually expensive. There are buses running in towns that have a mixed population, such as in Haifa and here in Arad they provide service between Arad and the Dead Sea.
But never fear you can also use a camel, like those you see in the pictures.
Okay, okay, so I am only kidding, but the reason I wrote that is because just a few years ago I actually got a letter (I won't mention if it was on VT or not) from a person asking if we had cars and roads here.....(and yes we still sleep in Bedouin tents, that is where the respected world wide high tech industry is done !!! ;O))
If you do visit the south, take the chance to actually ride a camel, if you have ever ridden a horse you will be doubly surprised.
The Arad bus station is just beyond the first roundabout in route 31 coming from Be`er Sheva. It's a modern buiding where you can wait in the air conditioned hall. There's an indoor rest room and a small shop for food and drinks. Tickets have to be bought at the driver. Bus service is according to schedule. There are clear displays announcing the departure of buses and designated gates. If you have a suitcase you just put it at the outside of the bus in the luggage compartment.
Arad has two local bus services: Metropoline bus routes 1 and 2.
See the website for the schedule and routes.