Tue, Feb 18, 2003 - Page 10 News List

EasyCard prepares new product for children

By Joanna Dunne  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The official distributor of EasyCards plans to begin retailing children's cards in May, a company representative said yesterday. The cards will give children the same discount when taking the bus that they now enjoy when paying by cash or using stored-value bus tickets.

Children under 145cm tall will qualify to use the new EasyCards, allowing them to ride public buses for NT$8, Andy Chang (張書明), spokesman for Taipei Smart Card Corp (台北智慧卡票證公司), the official distributer of the card, said.

While adults pay NT$15 for a bus ride, students pay NT$12.

``The cards will also offer the same 20 percent discount on the MRT that all cardholders enjoy.

Chang said that parents who have already bought student EasyCards for their children, will be able to exchange them for EasyCards at no extra cost.

Sun Li-chun (孫立群), deputy secretary general of the Consumers' Foundation, welcomed the additional choice for consumers.

"It's only proper for the Smart Card Corp to issue child discount cards," Sun said. "It is just a shame that it took them so long."

First launched in June 2002, the card has 1.4 million users. There are three types -- full fare, student and police/military personnel.

Plans by Smart Card Corp to issue EasyCards for the disabled and senior citizens are still waiting for government approval.

"We are awaiting the Bureau of Social Affairs' decision regarding the issue of senior citizen [over 65 years of age] and disabled cards," Chang said. "I think we can expect a decision in the not too distant future."

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