Monday, March 11, 2013

Think Twice Before Using the Jerusalem Light Railway

Public Service announcement for those who take the light railway in Jerusalem.




***See RESPONSE FROM CITYPASS POST***

***NEW: POTENTIAL CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST CITYPASS***

I found out today that CitiPass, the company that runs the trains, no longer honours the transfers from the Egged busses. When the train was proposed, built and became operational, the rational was that the busses would feed into the train line, which would run through the center of the city. To this end, Egged have rerouted many of their busses, so that there are now fewer busses that cross the city, and many more which run to the train and back again.
Initially the same ticket was used on both the bus and the train. One could take as many busses or trains within 90 minutes, which should allow most people to reach their destination. Egged stopped using cardboard bus tickets, and instead switched to the RavKav card, which is swiped on the bus and on the train. Until the end of January 2013 a trip on both bus and train would cost a single 'clip' on the card. Since the beginning of February (and as far as I know without any advertising or notification) someone who uses both train and bus will be charged twice (though on the same card, and if one does not pay attention it is very easy to not even notice). In other words, not only have the train operators made the train separate from the bus (thereby removing the justification for the train system) but they also did so without telling anyone, so that they have 'stolen' many thousands of shekels from people who think that they may use the train at no extra charge.
It took me and my kids (who use the busses and train almost every day) over a month to realize we are being ripped off (because we are fortunate in that we have the choice of bus or train – train is quicker, but we won't be using it now, because it is not so much quicker that we would want to pay twice for the privilege).
I have now looked on their website, but cannot find any information regarding this change. Perhaps they advertised it somewhere else, but not in any of the media which I look at.
If you use the Jerusalem transport system, think twice before using a combination of train and bus. Use either one (and as many busses as you wish) but be aware that if you use both you will be charged twice.
And if there are any lawyers or activists out there who can somehow hold CitiPass accountable for this deceipt/theft, please do everything you can to bring them to justice.
Thank you

18 comments:

  1. i think it is true. i rode the light rail two weeks for the first real time (i had ridden for fun a year ago). i transfered from a bus and then back on the way home. the next day, my rav kav was empty, AS IF i had used 4 punches when i thought i should've had some left. now i understand.

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  2. This is in contrast to their official policy according to the website. Have you tried to contact CitiPass? It's possible it's a malfunction and not a change in policy.

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  3. Does this mean that if I show my bus ticket with a transfer on the light rail they will not honor it, and I will get fined? (I don't have a rav kav.)

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    1. So far as I have seen, that is the only way not to pay twice. I have seen riders show their paper receit from the bus to the checkers, and that is enough. So if you want to ride a bus before the train, pay on the bus cash, then get the transfer ticket.

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  4. Sharon: I have not contacted them. I spoke to the guard who was checking tickets, who told me that the policy change happened at the beginning of February. If anyone hears differently from CitiPass please post the answer here.

    Bahtya: I was wondering the same thing. I hope for your sake that they do not fine you, but I'm also glad I am not going to use the train again (bli neder) to find out.

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  5. is anyone interested in trying to call them: http://www.citypass.co.il/ContentPage.aspx?ID=3 or email them: http://www.citypass.co.il/ContentPage.aspx?ID=8 and find out? im not.

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  6. I think we need to take this matter up with the guy at the top.... not the top of CitipPass, he's probably just some arse interested in transplanting your money into his wallet. I mean taking it up with the esteemed mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.

    We need to get this matter on Nir Barkat's agenda. CitiPass, time and again, continues to tarnish the reputation of our great, world-class city. Since the reputation of Jerusalem is a high priority item for Mr. Barkat, I believe he will happily take up the cause. I can just see the court docket now... City of Jerusalem vs. CitiPass.

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  7. I've sent an email to citipass via their website. If I receive an answer I'll post it here.
    This afternoon I also spoke to someone else who noticed that the train now does not honour the transfer/maavar.
    To be honest, I don't think simply correcting the problem or advertising now is sufficient. Citypass must have taken hundreds of thousands of people without their knowledge. That is simply theft, and their should be compensation for that (not to mention criminal charges should be placed against the people responsible).

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  8. Then again, out and out theft is a possibility...my nephews had just enough clips on their bus passes to get to and from school....yet noticed they were running out mid-month,every month...somehow the driver was taking extra 'clips' from their RavKav and no doubt pocketing the difference from the cash fares...

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  9. Aliya06: On the train there is nobody who clips the ravkav. It is a machine which is automatically programmed. So if it is theft, it is coming from the top (though probably not Nir Barkat who I still believe is one of the "good guys").

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  10. You sure? I'll have to pay attention. When the tickets from Egged disappeared I was told that the card is imprinted with a time, so that if it's within 90 min., it wouldn't remove another trip from your card on the bus or the train.

    But, if this is true, it wouldn't be the first problem we've had with Citipass.

    I was very much looking forward to the train. I took it back and forth everyday to and from work for a year until I moved. I am very disappointed with all of the nonsense of Citipass.

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  11. I kept careful track this month, as it is the first month in a while without a "chofshi chodshi", I marked down each time I traveled. I transfered twice from bus to train and did not count those punches. My count was accurate.

    So it seems more likely that it is a glitch, and you should probably contact citipass, as I can't imagine that they would not take off a punch when their policy states they must.

    I have heard stories with the rav kav - people with full tickets resetting to zero and other such things so it could be an issue with the card.

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    1. That last just happened to me last week. Had 8 rides left on Super Bus (I live in RBSA), and the next ride showed an empty card. Unfortunately, I don't have enough Hebrew to argue with the drivers.

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  12. I also noticed that after taking a bus, the train would also take a clip off my card and assumed it was a glitch. So for the last two weeks I didn't swipe my card in the train if I had just transferred from a bus. My ravkav was even checked by a mevaker, his little machine couldn't tell the difference. My card was validated so no problem. The question is if it is also the other way around. Is Egged still hounoring the original agreement so that when one transfers from train to bus it is only one clip??

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  13. Rav Kav and the light rail: An update

    Last night, I went into Jerusalem using a bus then the light rail. Instead of using my Rav Kav, I paid cash on the bus and got a paper receipt. When I was on the light rail, I showed my bus transfer to the ticket checker and it was accepted without a problem. (I was within the 90-minute limit.)

    Thus, the problem with the Rav Kav being clipped a second time when transferring from bus to train (which absolutely does happen) appears to be a technical glitch with the Rav Kav, not a change in CitiPass policy.

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  14. So Amihai (above) did some research and turns out that this appears to be incorrect - http://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=552354291462035&id=201116136619148&comment_id=5966438&ref=m_notif&notif_t=share_comment&actorid=201116136619148&__user=1313109608

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  15. I'm glad that it is not a change of policy. I'm not happy that they are taking extra clips from (it seems) quite a few people. I emailed them on Thursday to ask for clarification, but have not yet had a response.
    To be honest, I'm not confident of getting my money back. My children have between then lost 6 RavKavs (I think) with many clips on each. More than a year later we still have not received the credit or money back (though it was promised each time we replaced the RavKav).
    If there is a glitch in their machinery it is their responsibility to fix it. They are not blameless if their machines are stealing for them.

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  16. I don't think people are getting charged twice. I think the confusion comes from the bus and the train showing 2 different things when you swipe the card. The bus shows haw many rides are on the card including the current ride, and the train shows how many are left excluding the current ride. So if one gets on the bus and sees 7 when transferring to the train the validation system will show 6. The next bus ride will show 6 as it should.

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