Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 4 News List

`Easy Card' sales reach four million

`EASY' MILESTONE After the number of people who use the `Easy Card' hit a record this year, widening the scope of the card's use is next on the agenda


``Easy Card,'' the first touch-and-go IC card for Taipei MRT, buses, and parking lots in Taiwan, celebrates the sale of its 4 millionth card yesterday. Chairman of the Taipei Smart Card Corporation, David Chou, second left, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, second right, Shanchung Mayor Lee Chien-lung, left, and Panchiao Mayor Lin Hong-chih, right, pump gas at a ceremony at Taipei Main Station marking the occasion.


The multi-purpose "Easy Card," used to pay transit fees on Taipei rapid transit lines and buses, passed the four million issued mark yesterday.

The Easy Card was launched on June 12, 2002 and is the sixth-largest circulated card of its kind in the world.

In terms of the number of people who own a card, it is second only to Singapore's traffic card.

Taipei Smart Card Corporation (TSCC), which issues the Easy Card, held a celebration at Taipei Main Station and invited two mayors, Panchiao Mayor Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池) and Sanchung Mayor Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) to attend.

Keelung City bus operation office director Ting Kuo-ming (丁國民) and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also joined the celebration. The participants said they hoped the card could be used in the future to pay for other fees. Currently, the card can also be used to pay transportation and parking fees.

There are 10 cities in the world that use IC traffic cards. Hong Kong has the largest circulation of its "Octopus" card, with 11 million in use.

It can be used to pay for 253 kinds of items.

Mayor Ma said the TSCC has estimated that Taiwan's circulation could break the 5 million mark next year. Further expansion would depend on the added uses of the card, he said.

"From the stance of the public, it is best to travel around the country with an Easy Card card," Ma said.

Starting from Aug. 1, the card can be used at the Guting district population administration office to pay for copies of household registrations and other fees between NT$20 and NT$100.

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