The Rav-Kav has become an integral part of my life once I’ve moved to Jerusalem two months ago. I use it almost every day while moving around the city. It has changed my life! No need to look for money anymore.
And now, let’s talk seriously… The Rav-Kav is a great “smart card” to use on public transportation and it’s not only available for locals, but also for tourists, so you should get to know it. Update: From 2018, it’s a must on buses in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
First of all, the Rav Kav looks like this:
There are two types of cards: a Personal Card, which has your photo printed on it as well as your name. You can obtain that card free of charge. Another option is the Anonymous Card, which doesn’t come with a photo and costs a one-time price of 5 Shekels. The Anonymous Card can be obtained on the bus itself, but you will need to load it with cash later. The Personal Card can be obtained free of charge from the Rav Kav points in the main bus stations or from the booth in the Arrivals Halls at Ben Gurion International Airport.
Once you’ve purchased the card, you can load it on the bus with Israeli money and it will become your virtual wallet. Important update (December 2018): In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv you cannot load money on the bus. You must load money beforehand at main bus stations, loading points throughout the cities or through the HopOn app. With the Personal Card you will get a 20% discount on the amount of money you load onto the card, so the more you load, the better. You can load 30, 50, 100, 150 or 200 Shekels to your card and reload it when necessary. The money that’s kept on your Rav-Kav is called “Erech Tzavur” (ערך צבור), which means “accumulated value”. If you’d like, you will also be able to load your card with a daily pass. I advise you to do so if you’re planning to use the bus a lot, at least three times a day within a city. If you have an Anonymous Card, you cannot load a monthly pass or any other contract on it. Only on a Personal Card.
For more info about Rav-Kav, visit the official page about Rav-Kav on the Egged site.
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