Beginning on March 8th, Jerusalem buses are going cashless. As part of a new initiative by the Ministry of Transportation, bus drivers will no longer be able to sell single-ride tickets or bus card fillups to boarding passengers. The move is intended to help speed up travel times and allow drivers to focus on the road.
Although the pilot will only affect Jerusalem initially, the Ministry intends on implementing the system throughout Israel. In order to facilitate a smooth transition, dozens of representatives will be scattered throughout the city to remind passengers to fill up before getting on board.
Despite having the support of local community councils, representatives argue that it is being implemented prematurely, as the infrastructure in place cannot handle the demands of the change. Only 50 ticketing machines are set up for the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use public transport every day. Many of them do not accept cash.
Customers looking for the most hassle-free transition can add funds to their Rav Kav card by using a smartphone app or a card reader which can be acquired for 10 shekels. Riders will be required to obtain a new Rav Kav card with a smart chip to facilitate the new charging method, however.
Through this change, Jerusalem joins dozens of other cities that have gone cashless, including London, Amsterdam, and Melbourne.