Sat, Jun 04, 2011 - Page 12 News List

High-speed rail soon to accept EasyCard payments

Staff writer, with CNA

A model poses at a press conference yesterday announcing the launch of a travel card issued by Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSR) and EasyCard Corp that will allow travelers to use the EasyCard on THSR trains.

Photo: CNA

People holding co-branded EasyCards will soon be able to use them for travel on the high speed rail system, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) and EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡公司) announced yesterday.

The cards, issued by EasyCard and eight local banks for credit, debit and transportation payments, will be able to be used to purchase high speed rail non-reserved tickets by the end of the year, THSRC chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) said.

TOUCH-AND-GO

“The touch-and-go service will save passengers at least 20 minutes of waiting and ticket processing time,” he said.

According to THSRC estimates, half of the current buyers of non-reserved tickets will take advantage of the new service.

Ou said the service will also help THSRC to double or triple its transportation load in the long term from 110,000 passengers per day.

REGULAR USERS

However, the two companies said they are still considering whether regular EasyCard holders will be able to join the program.

EasyCard Corp has been expanding the use of the -contactless smart cards in recent years to include, among other functions, payments for purchases of up to NT$10,000 (US$348) at contracted stores.

On June 1, the cards were made valid for fare payments on most buses in Taichung and Changhua counties.

They have also been in use on trains and highway buses since the beginning of this year.

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