The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) will start selling a “TR-Pass” next month to encourage backpacking around the nation.
The agency began offering railway passes for international students last year in conjunction with the National Youth Commission’s efforts to attract student travelers.
The TR-Pass is aimed at young Taiwanese as well as foreigners.
Taiwanese students can choose between a five-day or seven-day TR-Pass, which cost NT$599 and NT$799 respectively, while foreign students have a choice of five-day, seven-day and 10-day passes. The 10-day TR-Pass will cost NT$1,089.
TR-Pass holders will have unlimited access to several TRA train services, including the Chukuang Express, Fuxing Express and commuter trains. However, they will not be able to use the pass on Tzuchiang Express trains, the most expensive service.
TR-Pass holders will also not be able to make advance reservations for seats on Chukuang Express or Fuxing Express trains.
Local students can purchase a TR-Pass by showing their student IDs no earlier than three days before the start of their trip, the agency said.
International students will have to show their passports and an international student ID or international youth travel card issued by the NYC, but will be able to buy their passes seven days before their departure date, the agency said.
The TR-Pass will be available between July 1 and Sept. 15 at 27 first-tier train stations nationwide.
In related news, the Taiwan Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and the Lienchiang County Government have joined forces to offer special travel deals for backpackers.
A four-day trip by boat to Matsu will cost NT$2,999, while a three-day trip by plane will cost NT$3,999, transportation included.
The special offers are available to the first 454 travelers to sign up.
For more information, visit the Web sites of Lienchiang County Government or the YHA at www.ilovematsu.com or at www.yh.org.tw or call the YHA at (02) 2331-2655.
• Available between July 1 and Sept. 15.
• Taiwanese and foreign students can buy a five-day pass for NT$599 or seven-day pass for NT$799. Foreigners can buy a 10-day pass for NT$1,089.
• The pass can’t be used on Tzuchiang Express trains.
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