Monday, December 5, 2011

Being a Good Law-Abiding Citizen, Paying for The Jerusalem Light-Rail

Last week I rode the Jerusalem Light-Rail for the last time for free.  Announcements were flashed that the free ride was ending, and from December 1, 2011, we'd have to pay.  Newspaper articles told that there would be assistants/guides to help us learn how to "insert" our "Rav-Kav" cards and fine those who hadn't paid the fare.

So, last night, when I got out of my ride at French Hill, Givat HaMivtar, I was all prepared to pay. With my trusty money-filled card I boarded the train.

Yes, you guessed it. It didn't fit in the slot. I tried all sorts of methods and angles and nothing worked, nothing at all. Was I going to be fined/ticketed?

Of course, this being Israel, I quickly got help.

Could it be that he hadn't paid? My unofficial helper didn't know what to do either.

Finally, at the next stop, I saw people entering and paying.

You just have to flash your card's symbol at the machine's symbol and it "clicks" as paid.

After I sat down across from a young woman, I mentioned how complicated the paying is until you're shown what to do.

"Pay? You don't have to pay. Isn't the train free?"

Call me a fri'yer, sucker, but I did pay. I wonder how many other train passengers still don't have their "Rav-Kav" cards and won't get them until they're caught... by the phantom staff that's supposed to be assisting and policing.


Rahel said...

Batya, they do enforce. When I was on the light rail yesterday, I too had difficulty paying until somebody showed me how. A few minutes later, a man in uniform came along and asked to see my card -- but at first I didn't know what he meant because he didn't specify that he wanted to see my Rav Kav -- it sounded like he wanted some other sort of proof of payment. Finally I took out my card and he held it against some kind of magnetic reader, which told him that I'd paid.

Batya said...

Rahel, maybe they don't work full-time.

DB said...

I got a chofshi chodshi because I use the train at least twice a day... if you can't afford it - don't ride it!

Batya said...

DB, the train cost the same as the bus and the system is one, so if you're going to pay for the bus, then pay for the train.