Beginning in March commuters on Israeli busses will have to charge their Rav-Kav transit cards before entering a bus. In a similar fashion to what is done on the Jerusalem light-rail currently, public transit goers will have to make sure that their transit card is charged prior to entering the bus. The Ministry of Transportation made this decision in an effort to cut down on the hassle for the drivers, allowing them to focus more on driving and less on making change.
In the first stage of the new implementation of the policy, all bus lines in and around Jerusalem will have the rule go into effect as of March 1st. The new policy will then expand from there and be applied throughout the entire country. There are already numerous bus-lines in Be’er Sheva and one in Tel Aviv where this rule already applies.
The Ministry also has plans in the future to do away with purchasing bus cards on buses altogether. Passengers will now have to charge their transit cards on small booths or stations that will be set up near highly trafficked bus stops or at central transit locations such as the central bus station. Additionally, commuters will be able to charge their transit card via the online Rav-Kav website. Various bu companies will also be installing charging stations in buses themselves on central and highly trafficked bus routes. These on-bus charging stations will require a credit card or exact change.
In addition to freeing up the driver to focus more on driving and less on dealing with cash, the Ministry reasoned that if the driver does not have to deal with monetary issues during his driving, then buses will arrive faster and stay more closely to their time tables.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)