Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) said yesterday that by the Lunar New Year holiday next year, it was likely that passengers would be able to pick up tickets at convenience stores rather than at train stations.
THSRC chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) said the ticket-issuing system at convenience stores was still in the testing stage and therefore could not be activated by the end of this year. But THSRC would try to achieve the goal by the Lunar New Year holiday, Ou said in an interview.
THSRC said in 2007 it would eventually issue tickets at convenience stores.
The Bureau of High Speed Rail, which supervises the high speed rail, said the main obstacle was that THSRC and convenience stores had failed to agree on the fee collected by stores to provide the service.
Since THSRC became operational in 2007, passengers have only been able to pick up tickets at ticket booths or automatic vending machines in its eight train stations
With more than 9,000 convenience stores around the country, Taiwan has among the highest densities of convenience stores of any country in Asia, rivaled only by Japan.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said it would try to provide a similar service at convenience stores by the middle of next year.
Chang Ying-huei, deputy managing director of the TRA, said it would open a tender for the ticket-issuing system by the end of this year.
The system could commence operations about four months after a tenderer is selected.
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