Israel has a very intricate and comprehensive internal public transportation system, based on air, trains, light rails, buses and bus rapid transit (BRT). The vast majority of the public transport is bus transportation, with around 6,000 buses and 8,500 drivers. The country has multiple bus carriers, with Egged (pronounced in 2 syllables as “Egg – Ed”) being the largest. Egged runs routes throughout the entire country.
Other smaller carriers, such as Afikim and Afifi run lines regionally or inside certain cities and towns. The Ministry of Transportation runs a web site that contains comprehensive information about public train and bus routes throughout the country, making it relatively simple for passengers to plan getting from point A to point B using multiple routes and companies.
The Tel Aviv Central Bus Station is the second largest bus terminal in the world, which is just an indication of how significant and central the public transportation system is in the country. The country is dotted with both terminals, which offer dozens of lines, and central stations, which offer over a hundred bus routes. As a result, the Bus Ticketing System is sophisticated and require a robust solution to support it.
As successive governments try and encourage the use of public transportation to ease congestion, especially during rush hours, they have added convenient ticketing as a service. More specifically, the government has initiated a public transport ticketing system whereby the all bus, train and other public transport companies are able to offer passengers to purchase a “RavKav Card”, literally meaning “Muli-Line Card” to use with multiple modes of transportation, such as bus and train, as well as with multiple carriers, such as with both Egged and Afifi.
In Israel, the “Multi-Line Card” provides discounts to the passenger. It is a plastic card, the size and shape of a credit card, and is meant for use by one person. The card can be personalized or anonymous. The personalized cards include the name and a picture of the cardholder. The following information is held digitally on the card itself:
- The user’s profile
- Card validity date (Valid until XXX)
- Amount of money still on card
- Various tickets and travel options for that were purchased
- Contracts – Monthly, weekly or daily
- Last three (3) activities executed by cardholder
The card is able to hold up to eight (8) separate contracts simultaneously.