Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 2 News List

TRA accepts EasyCard for all Taipei to Shulin trains

GETTING IT TOGETHER The administration also plans to introduce its own smart card, compatible with the various public transport systems across the country

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting next Friday, commuters between Taipei and Shulin (樹林) can board any Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) train with their Taipei MRT EasyCard.

Passengers will be charged the ticket price of a commuter train.

The administration has installed card sensors near the entry and the exit gates at the Taipei, Wanhua (萬華), Banciao (板橋) and Shulin stations. Commuters will also be able to add value to their Easy Cards at machines in the stations.

Technical crews will be on hand in case any problems with the ticketing system arise.

Those commuting from Taipei to locations south of Shulin, such as Yingge (鶯歌) or Taoyuan, will not be permitted to pay for the trip between Taipei and Shulin with an EasyCard and complement it with a TRA ticket for the remainder of the journey.

The TRA said the new measure was a trial period and the first stage of its project. The second stage is scheduled for August, when the same payment rules will apply to 14 stations between Keelung and Jhongli (中壢).

The TRA said the changes were made to meet the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ policy to promote “one-card” electronic ticketing that allows passengers to transfer more easily between different modes of transportation.

Around 120,000 persons commute daily on TRA trains between Keelung and Jhongli.

TRA Deputy Director-General Chang Ying-huei (張應輝) said the measure would mainly benefit passengers who switch to the TRA train service after taking the Taipei MRT System.

In the second phase of the plan the administration will give discounts to passengers who pay with their EasyCard, although the percentage of the discount has not been decided, Chang said.

The administration had planned to implement the measure in April, but postponed it because of unresolved issues with the Taipei Smart Card Corp (TSCC).

Chang said that the TRA would eventually have its own smart card system that will be compatible with the cards used by other mass transportation systems. In Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua and Nantou the Taiwan Easy Go card is used for public transportation, while the TaiwanMoney Card System is used in Kaohsiung and six other counties in the south.

Former MOTC minister Tsai Duei had vowed to integrate the card systems by the end of this year.

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