Don’t waste time, don’t stand in line! A new way to use the Rav Kav smart transport card
You might have noticed that some buses, in Israel, have been fitted with electronic devices close to the rear doors. Until now, we had no idea what they were meant for. Well it turns out that this device is an electronic reader that will validate your Rav Kav Smart multi-ride transport card. This new way of validating your Rav Kav is expected to save the bus driver time and save you aggravation by not having to stand in line.
Until now the rear doors of the bus were used for alighting passengers only. Now, on selected routes around the country, you can board the bus via the rear doors and validate your pre-loaded Rav Kav Smart Card by pressing it against the display screen of the device.
We emphasize that this service is still being introduced and will only be available in selected cities and towns and on selected routes.
A customer service representative at The Ministry of Transport told us (Tel: *8787) that this service is available in Beer Sheva, Haifa and Tel Aviv only. Eilat and Jerusalem will follow soon. The customer service rep was unable to give an exact date for each location and was unable to tell us when the rest of the country would be incorporated into the new system.
How to identify the ‘don’t waste time, don’t stand in line’ routes?
If you don’t read Hebrew very well yet, large, lime green arrows on the rear doors of the bus are prominently displayed as illustrated in the image below.
- FYI – we used this new validation method in Haifa recently and the downside was that after validating the Rav Kav, we turned around to move to some empty seats near the front end of the bus and got entangled in a people-jam caused by other passengers moving toward the back of the bus. Hopefully these people-jams will sort themselves out when passengers are more familiar with the system.
- Rochelle, a reader from Jerusalem, pointed out that if you load your RavKav with the 30 NIS, 50 NIS or 100 NIS option and validate it this new way, you won’t get a printed ticket that tells you how many rides you have left and the cash balance on your RavKav card. Thanks Rochelle!
- An Anglo-List member in Tel Aviv sent us this information: “The frame of light around the electronic reader is blue to begin with (when it’s “ready” to read a card). After you hold up your card, it will turn either red or green, before turning blue again. Always move your card away as quickly as possible after it changes color, so you can see what it says on the screen. If it turns green: your ride has been confirmed. The date, time, amount debited (if any), and the current balance, will all appear for a few seconds.”
If for some reason your Rav Kav does not validate on the electronic reader, you must approach the bus driver and validate your Rav Kav in the usual manner.
Cash paying passengers must enter via the front doors, and pay their fare to the bus driver. (Update: it is no longer possible to purchase a ticket of any type from the driver. All fares are pre-loaded on the Rav Kav)