Sat, Mar 03, 2012 - Page 2 News List

MRT offers mobile charging at six stations

NO CHARGE:The decision comes in the wake of an incident in which a man was charged with grand larceny for charging his cellphone without permission at Tam-shui MRT Station

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Passengers on Taipei’s MRT can now use a free cellphone and laptop battery-charging service at six major MRT stations, with Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) planning to expand the service to all MRT stations over the next six months.

The six stations — Taipei Main Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station, Minquan West Road Station, Jiantan Station and Taipei City Hall Station — all have sockets installed in -wireless access zones. The -service can also be used by people who need to charge the batteries of computers, consumer electronics and other communications devices.

Charging equipment includes USB sockets, and tables allow passengers to use their mobiles or laptops while charging, TRTC general manager Tan Gwa-guang (譚國光) said.

“The service is only for emergency use and TRTC will remind users not to use the area for too long,” he said.

TRTC plans to install -chargers at all MRT stations, the Taipei arena and the Maokong cable car system in the next six months.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the service aims to address the needs of passengers, and the city government is considering providing chargers at other locations, such as the Taipei Bus Transfer Station.

Previously, a free battery--charging service was only available at the airport and Taiwan High Speed Railway (THSR) stations.

TRTC decided to offer the service following a recent incident in which a man was charged with grand larceny for charging his cellphone without permission at Tamsui MRT Station in December last year.

A police officer on patrol discovered the man, surnamed Wang (王), while he was charging his phone and arrested him.

The case sparked a dispute as to whether using electricity from station outlets should be considered larceny.

TRTC originally said it would do everything it could to dissuade passengers from using company electrical sockets inside MRT stations before calling the police.

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