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How to pay for public transit in Israel in 2022

The Ministry of Transportation in Israel has been making some incredible advancements in the past few years. Firstly, they have introduced the Rav Kav in 2007 to unify a payment system among several different public transit companies throughout the country. This has made it easier to pay for a bus without using any cash. It is a smart-card that uses NFC and is the size of your standard credit card, so it can fit nicely in your wallet. 

An anonymous rav kav

Since then, there has been a push to exclusively use cash-free payment options for transit. Only recently, it has been decided that bus drivers in Jerusalem (intra-city) will not be responsible for taking payments upfront or loading Rav Kavs. In its place, there are payment terminals on the bus further away from the driver. 


israel Bus

Notably, you can acquire a new Rav Kav via the All-Kav offices closest to you. In addition, you can load and buy anonymous cards via many vendors and stores such as cofix. An anonymous card isn't tied to any individual and can be loaded normally. The downside to this is if the card is lost or stolen, the funds cannot be recovered. Secondly, it cannot be used to load a special profile such as a student or senior citizen. 

Another recent change that occurred on August 1st, 2022 is that people of the age 75 and older can now travel across the country for free! For any eligible citizens, they need to go to an All Kav office to update their card and also can withdraw the existing funds from the card to Israeli Shekels. Please note that due to the previous senior citizen discount, you will not be able to get the full value of credit on your card. The Rav Kav used to have a 20% discount on money you loaded, but that is no longer the case with the new reform.

In addition to Rav Kavs, you can now pay for transportation via QR Code and a compatible app! 

The benefit of going via one of the apps is that you get charged on a monthly basis, and the app does the favor of calculating the best and most affordable plan for that moth retroactively.  

Note that you may need to switch your app store to Israel in order to download some of these apps, here is how!

Moovit (iOS or Android) - In addition to the route planning and navigation via transit, you can now hook up your credit card and pay for busses and trains via the QR Code! You can also load any discounted profile such as a student, provided that you supply the necessary documentation. You will need to renew your discounted profile on a yearly basis. (Ad supported)

RavPass by Hop-On (iOS or Android) - This app also provides bus times (similar to Moovit), lets you top off your rav kav, and also pay for a bus, train, etc. via QR Code. It even supports the light rail in Jerusalem (no scanning needed). The same rules apply regarding discounted profiles. 


Check your Rav Kav balance and load a plan (day pass, week pass, month pass, etc.) with these apps: 

Hop-On (iOS or Android) - This is run by the same company as the previous listing, but the app is more limited and doesn't have the QR Code payment option.

Rav Kav Online (iOS or Android) - This app was here well before the QR Code apps were launched... It is meant for loading funds to your card, checking balance, picking a pass (day, month, etc.) and setting a profile. 


Bonus:

Google Maps (iOS or Android) - This app doesn't deal with payments or Rav Kavs, All it does is provide you with directions for walking, biking, driving, and public transit. It does a great job at it too! 

Egged TikTak (iOS or Android- This is a service that provides a shuttle from your closest bus stop in Jerusalem to another bus stop in Jerusalem. It is comparable to Lyft Carpool, as strangers who also order via the app can hop along for the ride. Prices are more expensive than public transit but cheaper than a taxi. This app also provides transit times and stop information but doesn't allow you to pay via QR Code. 

Dan Bubble (iOS or Android) - This works in a similar fashion to Egged TikTak with the exception that this works in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem, and is run by Dan and not Egged. 

You can calculate prices before you even travel with the official government site here.

 I switched from Moovit to Rav Pass for a better experience and fewer ads. Which app will you chose?



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Comments

  1. Am I correct that you cannot get a יום חופשי contract through the apps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct, you cannot... But the next best thing is there... Based on distance they can only charge you a max amount per day... I traveled through the larger Jerusalem area (and surrounding cities), taking 6 busses and the max rate was under 24 NIS per day.

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