Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 4 News List

TRA to halt scooter service next week

DWINDLING:Scooter deliveries have declined due to competition from the private sector, and restoration work in Taichung and Tainan has cut space for consignments

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has confirmed that it is stopping its scooter delivery service on Friday next week due to falling demand.

The railway began transporting fruit, pets, scooters and other goods in 1961, with annual cargo exceeding 6 million pieces in its heyday.

However, its freight business has dramatically declined due to a rise in highway transportation, the agency said, adding that annual freight has dwindled to about 200,000 pieces over the past few years.

Fewer scooters are being delivered because of competition from the private sector, the agency said.

Since being designated historic sites, the Taichung and Tainan railway stations are being restored, limiting the space available for scooter consignment, it added.

Scooter delivery services are offered at railway stations in Songshan, Hsinchu, Changhua, Yuanlin Township (員林), Chiayi, Yilan, Luodong Township (羅東) and Hualien, but only until the end of this month, it said, adding that it would review the policy after six months.

Chukuang-class trains would continue to deliver regular packages, but not to the Yingge or Lujhu stations, where deliveries would stop as of Friday next week because no freight trains make those stops.

The agency also announced that a new ticketing system is to be unveiled tomorrow and people can start booking group tickets for travel after April 23 on Saturday.

Independent travelers can start using the new system to book tickets for travel after April 23 on April 9.

Travelers can use their smartphones to order and receive e-tickets, which they can use to board trains, it said.

The new system would make for more efficient seat utilization, the agency said.

The current system shows that a seat is booked even if a passenger disembarks in Taoyuan or Hsinchu, but the new system would show that the seat is once again available.

Long-distance travelers from Taipei to Kaohsiung, for example, would be able to see in the new ticketing system unoccupied seats in different sections of the train if they cannot get a ticket for the same seat all the way.

They can then reserve seats in different sections of the train, such as one from Taipei to Taichung, change seats from Taichung to Tainan and transfer again from Tainan to Kaohsiung, the agency said.

This story has been corrected since it was first published to state that scooter delivery service will end on Friday next week.

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