Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jerusalem Egged Buses Modernizing, Part 1

For the past few weeks, there have been announcements and warnings about major changes on Egged's Jerusalem buses.

To speed up travel, bus drivers will no longer be "clerks" selling tickets and making change. They aren't going the way of the American "exact change only." We are supposed to use these little machines to load our RavKav cards with the tickets we need.

This is fine if the bus stop has one of the machines, like the one here, and you have a charge/credit card and time. Some machines will take cash, and there are special RavKav centers in some of the malls around town. Passengers on the Jerusalem Lightrail have gotten used to the fact that we can't buy a ticket on the train, but the trains are more frequent than than many buslines. It can be very annoying to miss a bus that only comes every twenty minutes, because you were loading your card.

Frequent travelers who get a monthly pass will just have to deal with it once a month. Many other regular users of the trains and buses keep a number of trips on their card, so they won't be caught empty. You can check the content on those machines. For people like me, who usually begin our bus travels to Jerusalem in Egged Taavura, it's less problematic, since our bus drivers can load the RavKav cards with the various options. There are no ticket machines in our area.

The only people who will really find this problematic are tourists and others who don't have RavKav cards*, but I think they can be purchased from the machines and other places.

If I've gotten anything incorrect here, please let me know, thanks.

*There are two basic types of RavKav cards. One is the personal one, with a picture, registered to a single person. It automatically charges discount rates for the Senior Citizens and those officially recognized as handicapped by government authorities. The second is the "anonymous" card which can be used by anyone. It gives the 90 minute transfer but no senior/handicapped discount, nor can you do the special "all day" ticket.


Anonymous said...

You can also load your RavKav Card by the smartphone app אונליין רב קו

Batya said...

That's if you pay for things with your smartphone, which I don't do. And there's also an attachment for the computer, but I don't pay on the computer.

Leora said...

As a tourist, this is a welcome change from fumbling for the correct currency. Happier to load up a RavKav card in advance.

Batya said...

Like the metro card in NYC, not complicated once you get started.