Sun, Jan 28, 2007 - Page 2 News List

TRA opens New Year ticket sales

SLOW GOING Some customers complained that it took almost an hour to complete their online purchases, but phone purchases were proceeding more smoothly

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administration launched advance ticket sales yesterday for trains scheduled to operate along the east coast for the Lunar New Year holidays.

With the Lunar New Year beginning on Feb. 18, the advance sales yesterday allowed passengers to begin booking for seats on trains departing on Feb. 15.

The advance sales began at 6am yesterday.

More than 240,000 train tickets, both northbound and southbound, were sold within four-and-a-half hours.

The figure accounted for approximately 30 percent of the total number of advance tickets the administration plans to sell in the next few weeks.

The railway administration's online pre-sale system experienced a slowdown because so many ticket requests were entered simultaneously.

Some passengers complained that it took almost an hour to complete their transactions, whereas others were upset because their orders were canceled for no reason after having entered all the required data.

Those ordering the tickets by phone, however, reported they were able to complete their transactions quickly and smoothly.

Advance ticket sales for trains operating along the west coast begins today.

For people who want to take advantage of the 14-day holiday by planning a rail tour, the Business Express, also scheduled to begin operation next month, could serve as another viable means of transportation option.

The Business Express was formerly known as the Formosa Star and was used to carry passengers on tours around the nation.

The administration outsourced the service last year to EZ Travel, an online travel service provider that purchased exclusive rights to use the Formosa Star and was in charge of arranging package tours for both domestic and overseas travelers.

The administration decided not to continue the contract with EZ Travel this year and instead changed the name of the trains to Business Express.

A standard Business Express train will consist of four cars with 126 passenger seats, a dining car and a Karaoke bar.

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