Fri, Jan 04, 2008 - Page 2 News List

EasyCard fees to go into trust fund

CONFIDENCE With 10 million cards in circulation as of last October, the number of cards is expected to reach 15 million in the near future, the TSCC said

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, second left, attends a ceremony yesterday as the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation entrusts NT$1.45 billion from EasyCard advance payments to Cathay United Bank.

PHOTO: CNA

In an effort to protect passenger rights, the Taipei Smart Card Corporation (TSCC) yesterday announced it would deposit the more than NT$1.3 billion (US$40 million) it has collected in advance fees from EasyCards into a trust fund.

The multi-purpose EasyCard, used to pay transit fees on Taipei MRT lines and buses, is extremely popular, with 10 million cards in circulation as of last October following its launch on June 12, 2002.

The number of cards is expected to reach 15 million in the near future, the TSCC said.

Besides the advance fees collected from the EasyCards, the TSCC added about NT$100 million and deposited the money into a Cathay United Bank account.

TSCC general manager Jason Lin (林志盈) said the company added an extra 5 percent to highlight the company's efforts to protect its customers.

"I am very confident about the sale of smart cards, but I think putting the advance fees into the trust fund offers more protection for our customers," he told a press conference yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

Addressing the ceremony, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) approved of TSCC's move, and promised to oversee the fund and protect the rights of all cardholders.

"I applaud TSCC's innovative measure and its sincerity. It is not only 100 percent sincere about protecting customers, it is 105 percent," Hau said.

Besides MRT fees and buses, the cards can also be used to pay parking fees and for tickets to Taipei's Maokong gondola system.

The TSCC has already expanded the card's use to Taipei County, Keelung City and Taoyuan County and hopes to keep expanding the use of the card to other areas around the country.

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