A woman’s efforts to avoid paying about NT$3,000 for two Taipei-to-Kaohsiung trips on the Taiwan High Speed Rail could end up costing her and her boyfriend NT$130,000.
The woman, surnamed Liu (劉), used to work for Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSR, 台灣高鐵).
Liu and her boyfriend, surnamed Kuo (郭), were on Saturday fined NT$40,000 each in lieu of a 40-day jail term by the Ciaotou District Court in Kaohsiung.
They have already paid the company NT$25,000 each in settlement for their fare-dodging actions.
According to the court verdict, Liu bought an unreserved seat ticket from Taipei to Banqiao by using a ticket vending machine on May 27 last year, which cost her NT$35.
However, she stayed on the train all the way to Kaohsiung.
While on the train, Liu called Kuo and asked him to go to the THSR Zuoying Station and buy a Zuoying-to-Tainan ticket.
Kuo bought a ticket and swiped it at one of the entrance turnstiles, but did not go through the turnstile.
After Liu arrived at the station, the couple rendezvoused in a secluded area and Kuo passed her the ticket that he had bought.
Liu then went to THSR staff and told them that something had come up and she could not make her planned trip to Tainan.
They let her out of the station’s departure-arrival enclosure and she turned in the Tainan ticket that Kuo had purchased and received a refund minus a processing fee of NT$20, which meant she paid just NT$55 for the trip from Taipei.
However, when the couple tried to repeat the trick on June 6, THSR staff did not fall for the ruse and called the police.
After considering that the couple had admitted to fare dodging and had already reached a settlement with THSRC, the district court sentenced them each to 40 days in jail for fraud or a NT$40,000 fine.
The verdict can be appealed.