Fri, Apr 17, 2009 - Page 4 News List

TRA plans online membership system

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) will soon introduce a new ticketing system that encourages passengers to make reservations through an online membership network.

If a member is unable to book a ticket on a specific date or time, the membership center will place him or her on a priority list and inform the members as soon as the requested ticket become available.

Lu Chieh-shen (鹿潔身), ­director of the TRA’s transportation department, said both corporate and individual members would also be eligible for discounts if they have met certain criteria, such as having accumulated a certain number of mileage points.

Lu said the new system was scheduled to be implemented in September.

The TRA is also launching an electronic ticketing system that works in the same way as the Taipei EasyCard. Having allowed travelers to use EasyCards on trains between Keelung and Jhungli (中壢), the TRA is considering a similar system for trains from Rueifang (瑞芳) in Taipei County to Hsinchu.

Lu said the TRA was using a paper card system for passengers commuting outside the northeast corridor.

However, the paper cards wear out quickly, he said.

“We are going to change them into IC cards, and then people will be able to add credit without worrying that their card would be damaged,” Lu said.

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