A bridge was opened in 1998, a few kilometres upstream of the main town of Luxor, allowing ready land access from the East Bank to the West Bank. Traditionally, however, river crossings have been the domain of several ferry services. The so-called 'local ferry' (also known as the 'National Ferry') continues to operate from a landing opposite the Temple of Luxor. The single fare (June 2008) is 1 L.E. - one Egyptian Pound - per passenger for foreigners. This ferry is mainly used by the locals although a number of foreigners do use it. The sites on the West Bank are further than you think and you will need transport--taxi drivers often approach ferry passengers, and it is recommended that a fare be negotiated ahead of time. There are also local cars that reach some of the monuments for 25 piasters, although tourists rarely use them. Alternatively, motorboats line the East Bank of the Nile all day providing a quicker, but more expensive (5 L.E.), crossing to the other side. The city of Luxor on the East Bank has several bus routes used mainly by locals. Tourists often rely on horse carriages, called "calèches," for transport or tours around the city. Do not ask calèche drivers to go to the west bank, because it is too far for the horses, not to mention illegal. Taxis are plentiful, and reasonably priced, and since the government has decreed that taxis older than 20 years will not be relicensed, there are many modern air-conditioned cabs. Recently, new roads have been built in the city to cope with the growth in traffic. For domestic travel along the route of the Nile, a rail service operates several times a day. A morning train and sleeping train can be taken from the station situated around 400 metres (440 yd) from Luxor Temple. The line runs between several major destinations, including Cairo to the north and Aswan to the south.
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