Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rav Kav - How to Get an Anonymous Bus Ticket and Get Organised!

If you read my previous post about the problems associated with the Rav Kav public transportaion card in Israel, you'll notice I posted a solution suggested by some friends. Today we were able to implement the solution and it worked!

To recap: Your Rav Kav ticket will allow you to purchase a variety of city and inter-city tickets. There's a catch though! The machine used to scan the card never knows which ticket to scan - and may well scan the wrong ticket costing you extra money! Certainly - it is the duty of the driver to code into his machine which ticket to take, but I've found most drivers to be unpleasant about this and even insulted when I've asked them to select the right ticket. This has resulted in an actual loss of money for me having had the wrong ticket "punched" numerous times! I've complained to Egged (with no response) and to Illit Kavim (having had them refund me ₪20 once) but the bottom line is that the problem still exists. It surprises me that the managers running the Rav Kav operation - no doubt qualified MBA's, honours, masters or Phd qualified B.Com graduates or even possibly CA's have no understanding of the issues facing the true problem of the card - but such is it.

So here's what will practically happen: You use your Rav Kav for a city ticket, an inter-city ticket and a combined ticked which is cheaper (when it works!) for travel between and within another city too! However, when the driver chooses to use a regular city ticket when you've already selected the combined ticked - you'll be charged more than double the amount as the computer will deduct both inter-city i.e. two tickets, then city - and then when you try to use the intercity on return you find that an extra ticket was deducted in the city - with you now losing two additional tickets for the inter-city ticket! 

If you don't follow that - the summary is that the machine that scans the ticket has no way of knowing which ticket you want to use. The driver may have an ego not wanting to let you use the one you want to, and you finding yourself at a loss of two or more tickets - wasted!

In the old days we used paper tickets which allowed us to have control of which ticket to use. But without the individual tickets, we can no longer keep track of what the driver and scanning machine are doing to the Rav Kav!

The solution: Get yourself a separate Rav Kav for every journey you make that requires a different ticket! I don't remember this being available at the start of the Rav Kav with their rules allowing only one ticket - but I see this is no longer applicable!

All you need to do is to go in to the main Egged bus station (Jerusalem), floor 3 - and ask for an anonymous Rav Kav. You can get as many as you like for the price of ₪5. It may cost something - but you'll be saving a fortune due to not having to deal with problematic bus drivers, Rav Kav machines and the tremendous stress you will experience having to explain to the driver how the Rav Kav actually does work - or finding out just how much you have lost due to drivers not using the machine correctly! Do'n't forget to label your cards so you know which ticket is on which card.

It's easy to do! Never ask the drivers for this anonymous Rav Kav ticket on the bus (though they should have) because they never have - forcing you to hope and pray that the next bus arriving will have. Just go in to the Egged bus station directly - a once off - get your additional Rav Kav's - and you're all set for an honest and stress free public transportation experience! BeHatzlacha - and a big thank you to those who helped me to sort this all out!


  1. You can get a rav kav from each operator, and it will cost you nothing.
    You do not even have to charge your card with the operator's cards.

  2. Is the Jerusalem station the only one you can get the anonymous Rav Kav at?

  3. Thank you for enquiring. We have not tried other venues but would assume any Rav Kav office can provide the anonymous card.



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