The Rav Kav smartcard.
(photo credit: ERICA SCHACHNE)
Following the abolition yesterday of cash payments on Jerusalem city buses, and with more questions on the topic than answers, here is some more information.
On city buses it will be necessary to have a Rav-Kav smartcard preloaded with either a period (day, week or month) ticket or a sum of money (erech tzavur, stored value) sufficient to cover the ride. Cards can be loaded using cash or a credit card at the Jerusalem central bus station ticket windows and at the Al-Hakav service centers next to platform 22 and at the CityPass service center at 97 Jaffa Road (the Clal Center), as well as branches of Cofix and Ma’ayan 2000 in Jerusalem. In addition, numerous minimarkets and grocery stores in residential areas outside the city center will offer this service. Cards can also be loaded at the automatic machines around the city; using the Rav-Kav Online app; and also on home computers using a card reader that can be purchased for NIS 5 from any Al-Hakav service center.
Old Rav-Kav cards without a smartcard chip (a small gold square on the back of the card) will no longer work. These cards can be exchanged free of charge at any Al-Hakav service center. Tickets for rides on intercity buses to and from Jerusalem can still be paid for using cash.
For tourists visiting Israel, there is a Rav-Kav service center at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Of particular interest to Beit Shemesh residents, tickets from Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem, including all-day tickets, can still be bought using cash on the bus, as can all tickets for local rides within Beit Shemesh.