Tue, May 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

TRA to start trial run of ‘real-name’ ticket system

HOME FOR HOLIDAYS:The name-checking system is aimed at helping Hualien and Taitung residents who have difficulty booking tickets during peak seasons

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration yesterday said it would start trial runs next week of a “real-name” ticketing system for residents of Hualien and Taitung counties purchasing round-trip tickets to the east coast during the Dragon Boat Festival.

The system, which is to begin its trial run on Wednesday next week, has been proposed as a way to ensure that those born in Hualien and Taitung counties can purchase tickets to go home during the big three national holidays — the Lunar New Year, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival — when tickets are in high demand.

The real-name system is to apply to passengers on the eastbound Puyuma Express to Taitung, departing Shulin Station at 7:43am on June 9, and to passengers on the westbound Puyuma Express train to Shulin, departing Taitung at 2:45pm on June 12.

Those who want to purchase tickets for those two trains can start booking tickets at 6am on Wednesday next week, the TRA said.

Only passengers whose personal identification card numbers begin with the letters U or V — which are assigned to people born in Hualien and Taitung — will be able to buy tickets under the real-name system.

Each person can purchase no more than three roundtrip tickets using three qualified ID cards, it said.

The last three digits of the ID cards will appear on the tickets for onboard inspection, it said.

TRA transportation department section chief Chen Yu-mou (陳裕謀) said the system does not apply to those who were not born in Hualien or Taitung, but live there because of work, school or other reasons.

The TRA said the results of the trial run would be included in a comprehensive report to be submitted to the legislature’s Transportation Committee, which had asked the agency to test the system for six months.

In related news, Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) faced questions over his decision not to cancel highways tolls between 11pm and 6am during the four-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday, with several lawmakers saying the ministry should persuade long-distance bus operators to offer larger discounts to travelers during those hours.

Hochen said the ministry made the decision because driving at night increases the risks of traffic accidents, adding that drivers are more likely to speed if the toll is waived.

The ministry should work with law enforcement officers to crack down on speeding, rather than canceling toll-free hours, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Hsuen-sheng (陳雪生) and Independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) said.

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