Starting on Dec. 4, Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) passengers will be able to book their tickets online at any time, the agency said yesterday.
The announcement was made at the legislature’s Transportation Committee meeting, in which Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and other ministry officials briefed lawmakers about the ministry’s budget plan for the next fiscal year.
At present, TRA passengers who want to purchase tickets online can only do so between 6am and 12am. The TRA has received numerous complaints from passengers who said that they need to get up early in the morning if they want to book tickets.
TRA Director-General Frank Fan (范植谷) said the TRA has collaborated with the Chunghwa Telecom and convenience store chains to make an around-the-clock online booking service available to passengers. The new service is scheduled to be launched on Dec. 4.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) questioned the safety of new tilting trains imported from Japan.
He said the new trains cost more than the current ones and that it was reported that the degree at which the new tilting trains swing was 2.6 times more than the current ones.
The trains are designed to tilt when they pass through a curve, which would save drivers from needing to reduce operational speed.
When asked if the new tilting trains would be suitable for pregnant women or passengers with heart conditions, Fan said the new trains had passed static testing in Japan and would need to pass dynamic testing procedures on
Taiwan’s railway routes.
The nation first started importing titling trains in 2006, using them on the East Coast line.
They administration placed another order for tilting trains in 2009, and the first batch of the 16 train cars ordered are scheduled to arrive on Thursday.