Thu, Jan 10, 2019 - Page 4 News List

AI to enhance ticketing

RIDING HIGH:A record 175,000 passengers rode the high-speed rail daily last year on average, while the average train delay was 10.2 seconds, THSRC said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A customer talks to a Taiwan High Speed Rail ticketing clerk in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s (THSRC) ticketing application is soon to be equipped with an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) speech recognition system to help customers book and pick up tickets, the company said on Tuesday.

The high-speed rail system plays an important role in the nation’s railway industry and must stay competitive in train speed and service quality, business senior vice president Johnson Sun (孫鴻文) said, adding that digitization and automation is crucial to this year’s corporate development strategy.

The ticketing application, T-Express, is to be equipped with an AI speech recognition system by the end of March to help people book and pick up electronic tickets, providing a 24-7, one-stop ticketing service, Sun said.

The company would allow older and physically challenged passengers to book tickets using T-Express during the first quarter of this year, while tickets for children could be purchased by the end of April, Sun added.

Older, physically challenged and child passengers are legally able to purchase high-speed rail tickets at a discount, the company said.

Currently, older or physically challenged passengers can book tickets on THSRC’s Web site, but cannot pick up electronic tickets through T-Express and must personally present an identification card or other relevant documents at a railway station or convenience store, the company said.

With the new system, passengers could pick up tickets at automatic machines at railway stations and through T-Express, but people purchasing a discounted ticket for the first time would still need to pick up tickets at the station to verify their identity, it added.

The high-speed rail system was used by 63.96 million people last year, with the daily passenger volume reaching an average of 175,000, a record since the system was launched in January 2007, THSRC chairman Chiang Yao-chung (江耀宗) said.

Meanwhile, 52,347 train services were dispatched, with the punctuality rate reaching 99.76 percent, Chiang said, adding that the average train delay was 10.2 seconds.

The occupancy rate was 67.01 percent, he added.

High-Speed Rail Holidays, which offers package tours combining high-speed rail travel and visits to tourist attractions nationwide, attracted 2.68 million travelers last year, surpassing the company’s goal of 2.5 million, Chiang said.

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