An unidentified elderly man yesterday handed over an envelope containing NT$50,000 to Taipei Railway Station to repay a fare he failed to pay several decades ago.
The man, described as wearing a mask, said in a typed letter that came with the envelope that he took a train without paying a fare when he served in the army decades ago because his family was poor.
“I don’t want to carry the crime with me when I die,” the man wrote.
“I hope the Taiwan Railways Administration can forgive me and accept my sincere apology,” he wrote.
The NT$50,000 included the fare and interest that had built up over the years, he wrote.
The letter did not reveal any further details, but the act got the train station’s attention.
“We often receive money like this, but rarely a one-time payment of such a high amount,” deputy station director Yu Li-ting (余立棟) said.
Yu said the administration once received a reimbursement of about NT$100,000 for an unpaid fare, but he could not remember when it happened.
The letter did not say how much the original fare was.
Express train fares between Taipei and Kaohsiung in have ranged from about NT$650 to NT$850 for the past 20 years, Yu said.