Published July 27, 2022 12:02 PM IST
Significant changes to Israel’s public transportation pricing will go into effect on August 1. These changes come as part of Transportation MInister Merav Michaeli’s controversial new transportation reforms. Below, Chaim V’Chessed’s Bureaucratic Department clarifies the new guidelines and their implications.
Erech Tzabur/ Accumulated Value
With the advent of the new changes, erech tzabur (accumulated value) will no longer be available. Currently, when a passenger adds funds to their Rav Kav, they receive a total value of 25% more than what they’ve paid for. For example, one who purchases 30 NIS on his Rav Kav, receives the equivalent of 37.50 NIS to use for fares. As of August 1, when one charges 30 NIS to their card, they will only receive 30 NIS to use for fares.
Please note: Funds added to one’s Rav Kav prior to August 1 will remain on the card, as is. Up to August 1, one can continue to upload accumulated value on their Rav Kav. You might consider loading up your card prior to the fare changes. One can add up to 1000 NIS to a Rav Kav.
Single Bus Rides, Daily Passes
As of August 1, the cost of a single bus ride will be based on the distance of one’s trip. The farther you travel, the more the fare will be. A fare paid for local trips up to 15 kilometers includes a 90 minute free transfer (within those 15 kilometers) to another bus or light rail train. There will also be an option of purchasing a daily pass, allowing one to travel freely within a specified area.
See table below of travel fees based on distance of each trip. To calculate how much you should pay for your fare, use this online travel calculator.
Chofshi Artzi/Nationwide Unlimited Monthly Pass
As of August 1, a nation-wide unlimited monthly pass will be available to all public transport passengers in Israel. This will enable unlimited travel on all public buses around the country (except Eilat) for a fixed monthly rate of only 225 NIS. The pass is also valid for unlimited travel on the Jerusalem Light-Rail, Haifa’s Cable Express, Metronit bus rapid transit system, and the Carmelit underground railway. There will be extra costs for Israel Railways travel, based on the distance traveled.
Regional Unlimited Monthly Pass
There will now be an option to purchase a monthly pass with unlimited travel on buses up to 40 km between peripheral towns – i.e. areas outside the Jerusalem/Tel Aviv/Haifa metropolises. The cost is a fixed 99 NIS for adults and 49.50 NIS for children and seniors.
These regions are detailed on the Ministry of Transportation’s travel maps, found here.
Please note: This pass is for use only within these regions. Someone who wants to travel, for example, from Jerusalem to one of these regions, will use a Nationwide Unlimited Pass.
Intercity Bus/ Train Travel
One can apply for an Unlimited Monthly Pass which includes buses and Israel Railways. See table below.
Payment for fares can be made either using one’s Rav Kav card (which must be charged in advance of travel), or via one of the following smartphone apps: HaTachana, Moovit, Pango, Cello, Rav-Pass. The ability to charge fares via one’s smartphone begins on July 27.
Is there a difference between paying with a Rav Kav or a smartphone? Yes. When paying with a smartphone, the fare is retroactively calculated at the end of the month, using the most economical fare for your travel each day.
When paying using a Rav Kav, you have to choose the most beneficial fare upfront. For example, if you plan on traveling on more than two buses, you would choose the daily pass option upon boarding the first bus that day.
See the following table of fees. Prices in blue include combination bus + Israel Railways. This does not refer to the Jerusalem Light Rail, which is considered like a bus
Ezrach Vatik/Senior Citizen
Passengers aged 75 and older will travel free of charge on public transport anywhere in Israel! In order to utilize this benefit, the senior must arrange a 75+ profile on his or her Rav Kav or on the smartphone travel app (see above for payment options).
All other senior citizens (men from age 67, women from 62) will continue to enjoy a 50% discount. Please note: The senior profile can already be applied for from the 1st of the month of the senior’s birthday.
All seniors have the option to have a representative apply for a senior profile on their behalf. The representative must bring along a signed power of attorney (including both of their personal details), a printed copy of the senior’s teudat zehut and the senior’s Rav Kav.
Chaim V’Chessed has learned from Transportation Ministry officials that senior citizens who are not citizens or residents of Israel will not benefit from this change. They will be required to pay the same full fare as adults.
Children from age 5 to 18 years old will still be eligible for a 50% discount on each fare.
In a new feature, 5 to 18 year olds will be able to purchase an unlimited monthly pass at a 50% discount. This means that a nationwide unlimited monthly pass will cost only 112.5 NIS and a regional unlimited monthly pass will cost only 49.5 NIS.
Children under age 5 ride free of charge when traveling with another paying traveler (regardless of the traveler’s profile).
The discount for disabled persons and those eligible for income support will be enlarged from 33% to 50% per trip. This is automatically part of the person’s travel profile and is valid for individual trips, but not for monthly passes.
Student Fare Contracts
Student profiles will continue to benefit from 33% off regular fares and 50% on yearly passes. Student discounts obtained prior to August 1 will continue to be valid.
It will take time for all of us to become used to the new system. If you need assistance in figuring out how much your trip will cost, use this easy travel calculator, which calculates how much you will pay, based on the distance you are traveling and your travel profile.