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Rav-Kav – Using the Bus in Israel

As of January 2019, Israel made a change that has simplified things for its regular commuters and tourists, switching the old way of tickets being charged by the bus driver, to reloadable ticket usage. The Rav-Kav reloadable ticket is beneficial for both, passengers and drivers, as they can all enjoy a safe ride, without being preoccupied with cash exchange, or struggling with lines of people waiting for their ticket purchase. If you want to avoid any unpredictable steps in using public transportation during your trip to Israel, here is everything you need to know.

What is a Rav-Kav?

A Rav-Kav is a reloadable ticket used in Israel. As it can be charged by cash or credit card in advance, it prevents the passengers to worry about carrying cash on the bus or train, so it makes the process of transportation much more effective and clearly organized.

There are two categories of Rav-Cav tickets: a personalized and an anonymous card. Personalized tickets include names and photos of passengers, in addition to the other relevant status information, student or a senior, for example. It is typical for local residents to use them, while, on contrary, tourists are more likely to use anonymous ticket cards.

Where to buy a Rav-Kav?

There are several designated locations to purchase your Rav-Kav card. These include Tel Aviv train stations, the Central Bus Station (level 6), and the arrivals hall of Ben Gurion Airport. All it takes is a few shekels to use as many buses as you like throughout a city, within a 90-minute time frame, after which an additional amount is required. It is a simple and quick procedure after which you can move around in Israel, and leave cash at home, or save it for waiters’ tips, as tipping hospitality workers in this country is quite a custom.

How do you load money onto a Rav-Kav?

The same bus or train station locations where the Rav-Kav is purchased is where you can load money onto the ticket. What’s more, it is an option to reload your Rav-Cav in several places around town, convenience stores and kiosks. There are also recharging stations near ‘’Tel-O-fun’’ green bike stations. It could be a struggling fact that all the self-serve loading instructions are in Hebrew, so if you want to save yourself from language barrier complications, a shop where the clerk will manually assist may be more convenient. Another way is to use “Rav-Kav Online” apps, but have in mind that they’re available for NFC-supported devices only.

Other helpful Apps for using the Bus in Israel

Besides the ‘’HopOn’’ app, which offers real-time bus info, worth mentioning is the ‘’Moovit’’ app, which is actually a worldwide public transit map. It helps plan routes, provides up-to-date bus information, and gives a helpful ring when your stop is approaching while riding the bus, using real-time tracking. Even though these functions make perfect assistance for tourists, the disadvantage is that the street names are listed in Hebrew, no matter the fact that the app is in English.

After learning all the details of taking using public transportation services in Israel, all you need is enthusiasm for traveling and exploring the beauty of the country. Carefully plan your routes, and get ready to safely commute around a city with joy!

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