Convenient, mostly new with airconditioning, the big buses are operated by SAPTCO (Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company), they have several routes around the city ending up in downtown Ballad.
They also have a vast network of intercity and destinations out of Jeddah to most cities in the Kingdom as well as International routes. Their main bus terminal for out of town destinations is located in downtown Ballad
If you fancy thrilling rides in and around the city or heading for the downtown, there's another option that may be scary or fun or both.... the Hafla. Those small buses (non-aircon coaches) ply and stops anywhere you want (bus stops or not) as long as it's along the route painted in white with blue & red stripes along it's body, mostly old vehicles but you will find lots of new ones. A bit uncomfortable during peak season (Ramadhan & Hajj) with lots of people cramming inside of various scents... you know what I mean, right?
in the entire jeddah, there is only one route, called Khat al Baladia or Baladia route. That drives you from down south Jeddah to up north, no rights or lefts. They are those small buses of 30-45 passengers, not something fancy.
exclusive: they only accommodate mainly non-saudis
coloured: white and orange lines to distinguish
layout: broken and open windows at all times, no airconditioners
seats: for men only, and unmaintained of course
bus stops: not available throughout the route. you just wave and the driver stops
fees: SR2 as far as i know, though i doubt if it deserves a free fee, they should pay the messenger actually!
oh this bus route is just *....*!
should take a pic of it really......it's a jeddawi heritage!