TRA suspends plan to fine people for loitering

QUICK EXIT?:Older and physically challenged people, parents with children and people with luggage might need more time to leave a platform, lawmakers said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Dec 08, 2017 - Page 3

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday suspended plans to implement a policy requiring passengers to exit station platforms within 10 minutes after arriving by train.

The policy, which was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, would fine passengers NT$15 if they do not leave platforms or anywhere behind the exit gates within 10 minutes of arriving, unless they have a legitimate reason for not doing so.

Following a public outcry, the agency on Wednesday said it would give commuters a three-month grace period before it starts fining people for loitering.

However, it reversed its position again yesterday, saying it was shelving the policy for now.

“We have taken into consideration the differences between train stations and the time it would take for passengers to leave a station during peak hours, as well as the difficulty for our staff to enforce the policy,” the agency said in a statement.

“As the policy is likely to generate more disputes between railway staff and passengers, we have decided not to implement it for now,” it said.

TRA staff would continue to ask people to quickly leave the platforms after their trains arrive, it said.

Lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday that the agency’s policy, if enforced, would be stricter than those of the Taipei mass rapid transit system and the high-speed rail system.

They said the policy fails to take into account that people need time to walk to the exits at some railway stations.

Older and physically challenged people, as well as parents with children and passengers with heavy luggage, also need more time to do so, they said.

Asking people to leave a station within 10 minutes of arrival during peak hours or holidays might also be a problem, they said.