Taken for a ride

Passengers are livid: After a decade of dealing with the mess from the light rail’s construction, they’re now paying exorbitant fines, mostly due to Egged’s mistakes.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
February 23, 2012 18:46
Rav Kav

Rav Kav 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The city’s neon green Rav-Kav electronic bus cards have been jinxed from the start. First there were the five-hour long lines at the Central Bus Station in November, when the first day of the Rav-Kav coincided with the return of university students to school, causing general mayhem and confusion. Now, a technological snafu between the Egged and CityPass ticketing systems has left thousands of people with cards that – oops – may not be useable on the train. There’s no way to figure it out until you try to swipe your card on a train and are denied, so good luck! The details are arcane: Anyone who bought a multiple-use card, or kartisia, before November 27 but uses it after January 1 can use it only on the bus, not on the trains. This despite the fact that the Rav-Kav cards were widely advertised to be usable for both. Sources at Egged give a long-winded explanation for the problem, which includes a mixup in the city code on the tickets.

Despite the complicated explanation, the repercussions are clear: thousands of exorbitant fines for passengers who say they’re just trying to learn how to use the new system.

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