Points of Views
From Jerusalem
Points of Views
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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem



You can probably identify with this situation: you get on the light rail, and because you’re stressed you forget to validate your Rav Kav[1] or you see someone else getting fined because he forgot. Usually, the ticket inspector appears exactly at that moment.

One day, when I got on the light rail, someone validated a Rav Kav for me because my card was empty, and saved me from a needless fine. Because of that, a year ago I started an operation of my own: Pay it Forward.

At first, I bought ten Rav Kav cards and charged each of them with exactly 5.9 shekel, just enough to save one unfortunate passenger whose card had run out of money, from the inspector. When I come across a situation like this, I take a card out of my wallet and validate it for him. Then I ask him to charge the card with one ride’s fare, and to please pass it on. One good deed at a time.

In the past year, more and more of my friends and family bought Rav Kavs and gave them to me to give to others. Today, I gave away my last card (the 100th ticket!) to a young guy that didn’t notice his card was empty. Then, I bought three more Rav Kavs.

So, if you’ve been given one of these cards, I’m asking you to please pay it forward. Don't do it for something in return, pay it forward to foster kindness between strangers on the light rail.


– Shai Maltabashi, West Jerusalemite

[Selected Comment:]

"Great idea! Doesn’t require much, and does good for the community. I hope you’ll serve as an example to others. May there be more people like you."

[This post went viral in west Jerusalem]

0202 Editor’s Notes:
[1] A Rav Kav is Israel's "smart card" public transport ticket. It can be loaded with money and is used to pay for bus, light rail and train tickets. From March 8th in Jerusalem, a Rav Kav cannot be charged with money on board buses. They must be charged at specified machines located throughout the city, online or via the Rav Kav phone app.

[2] Excessive fines on the light rail system in Jerusalem is an issue that is raised repeatedly. The conduct of the operating company and its inspectors is heavily criticized and many Jerusalemites think they are over-aggressive.
If a passenger boards the light rail without enough money on his card, he is not able to pay for a ticket, and he cannot even charge his card on the train. If an inspector discovers the passenger's Rav Kav balance isn't high enough he will be fined…unless someone else pays for him.

#Light_Rail #Public_Transportation