The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday unveiled new ticket machines, which people will be able to start using at stations in Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Hualien from now until Monday next week.
The TRA aims to install 144 of the machines at 38 stations across Taiwan by the end of August, TRA Deputy Director General Du Wei (杜微) said, adding that the old machines would be replaced by October next year.
The new machines allow people to book tickets with or without reserved seats, operations that have until now been done on separate machines, the TRA said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The new machines add mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and others, to cash and credit card payment methods, it said.
People who book tickets at a convenience store can print them at the new machines, the agency said, adding that they also have add-value services for payment cards.
The most distinctive feature of the new machines is that they allow people to cancel tickets and get a refund directly, making it the only railway operator to offer such a service, it said.
To request a refund, the ticket is inserted into the machine and a refund button is pressed, the TRA said.
Refunds — minus a processing fee — would be in cash if the ticket was purchased with cash, it said.
If a refunded ticket was purchased with a credit card, the machine would return the money to the account minus the processing fee, it said.
The new machines are in two sizes: one at a standard height and the other for physically disabled people, it said.
The machines offer service in Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Filipino, Vietnamese, German, French and Spanish, the TRA said.
An Indonesian passenger surnamed Teng (鄧) tried one of the new machines at Taipei Railway Station yesterday.
Booking train tickets with the new machines would be much faster than buying them from ticket windows, Teng said.
“Many of my Indonesian friends who cannot speak or read Chinese have to buy the tickets from the window, and we need to translate for them. Now with the new machines, you can book tickets and pay with a debit or EasyCard, and you can read the instructions in Indonesian,” she said.
It is easy and convenient to request a refund using the machine, she said, adding that the system charges a reasonable fee.
In Indonesia, many people do not bother to request a refund for a train ticket, because the procedure is too complicated, she said.
The TRA would upgrade automatic ticket gates by incorporating scanners for QR codes on tickets, Du said, adding that it would finish the upgrade in four years.
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