Will the government nix fines for using another's Rav Kav?

Tourists in Jerusalem, rejoice: Transportation Ministry works to cancel fine for passengers who pay using someone else's Rav Kav card.

Chana Roberts ,

Rav Kav cards
Rav Kav cards
Chana Roberts

Israeli citizens and tourists may use a Rav Kav or credit card belonging to someone else, the Knesset's Special Committee for Public Petitions for Transportation announced Wednesday.

A Rav Kav card is a personal or anonymous card which allows the holder to board buses and trains around Israel. Both personal and anonymous cards can be loaded with 30, 50, or 100 shekels to be used indefinitely until the money runs out. However, only a personal card can be loaded with a daily, weekly, or monthly pass.

The decision to cancel fines comes after hundreds of civilians complained that despite paying in full, they received 180 NIS fines for using another's Rav Kav card on the light rail train.

Most of those fined knew ahead of time that know using someone else's Rav Kav goes against regulations and is subject to fine. However, the Committee decided that there is no logic in fining someone who uses someone else's Rav Kav, since the fare was in fact paid.

Parents of large families complained that children often lose their Rav Kav cards, and the fare could not be paid by using a sibling's card.

MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) therefore demanded the Transportation Ministry cancel the fines.

"Why is a Rav Kav different than the paper kartisiyot (multi-use bus tickets), which could be used by several children or several adults?" Eichler asked.

"We are working to update the policies, so passengers who use a Rav Kav which is not theirs will not be fined," the Transportation Ministry said in a statement. "The new policy will apply as long as the Rav Kav used does not offer a discount and does not have a free daily, weekly, or monthly pass."

According to the new policy, a youth or senior will be able to use the Rav Kav of a similarly aged passenger who is entitled to the same discount. However, the supervisor will need to estimate the passenger's age.

If a student wishes to use another student's Rav Kav, the decision will be up to the supervisor. Students who receive a fine will be allowed to appeal with proof that they, too, are eligible for the same discount.

Responding to the Transportation Ministry's statement, Eichler said, "Finally, after a long period during which passengers suffered needlessly, the mistakes are being fixed."

"I hope we will soon hear that this decision was implemented, and those who have permission to use someone else's Rav Kav will be able to do so."

In January, CityPass, which runs Jerusalem's light rail train, allowed passengers to pay with a credit card instead of a Rav Kav.