Tue, Sep 06, 2011 - Page 2 News List

THSRC app to let patrons use smartphone as ticket

ALL ABOARDThe new app will let passengers pass through ticket gates by scanning a code sent to them when they purchase their ticket on the Internet

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Passengers on the high-speed rail will soon be able to use their smartphones as a ticket, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) said yesterday.

The company said it was scheduled to test run the system next month, adding that the smartphone ticket service could become available to the public in November.

Based on its plan, passengers would first have to download the ticketing application with their smartphones and use the app to book tickets.

They would receive a quick response code (QR code) when the transaction is complete. They will then be able to quickly pass through the ticket gates by placing their smartphones near the sensors on the ticket gates, which would scan the QR code.

Meanwhile, the board of THSRC recently approved a resolution authorizing the company to negotiate the purchase of new trains from Japan.

THSRC said the plan was raised to help cope with the increase in passenger numbers, which could reach 145,000 a day between 2013 and 2014.

The company made a profit of about NT$2 billion (US$68.8 million) in the first half of this year after suffering financial losses since the service began in 2006.

THSRC chairman Ou Chin-der (歐晉德) called on the government to extend the concession period.

The company was given the exclusive right to run the high-speed rail system for 35 years, including the construction time.

Ou said that 35 years is too short. He cited examples of build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects such as the Regent Taipei Hotel and the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France, which were given concession periods of 50 years and 99 years respectively.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that it would help solve problems the company has encountered with payment of amortized loans, but added that it must be carried out legally.

Current government regulations require BOT contractors to pay off their loans within the concession period.

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