Airport MRT test riders urged to use electronic payment cards

Taipei-- People who plan to test-ride the new mass rapid transit (MRT) line between Taipei and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the country's main gateway, have been urged to use electronic stored value cards accepted by the new MRT system to help test the line's electronic payment system, although they will not be charged.

Taoyuan Metro Corp. said that the new line's ticketing system accepts payments made with EasyCard, iPASS, Taoyuan Citizen Card and HappyCash (second generation) cards, and urged test riders to use the cards to enter and leave the Airport MRT stations.

The new MRT system is undergoing a one-month trial run that started Feb. 2, and will begin commercial operations March 2.

During the trial run period, test riders can enjoy the service for free, but the company called on the public to use electronic stored value cards to enter and leave the stations, adding that no money will be deducted from the stored value on the cards.

This will help with the testing of the line's electronic ticketing system, which is designed to accept various cards, it said.

In the first two weeks of the trial run, group passengers who apply in advance will be allowed to travel for free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this phase, passengers will be restricted to boarding and disembarking at only six of the 21 stations, and will not include the two stations serving Taoyuan International Airport, according to the company.

The six stations are A1 (Taipei Station), A3 (New Taipei Industrial Park), A8 (Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital), A10 (Shanbi), A18 (High Speed Rail Taoyuan Station) and A21 (Huanbei or North Link), the company said.

In the second phase, which will run from Feb. 16 through March 1, a daily maximum of 20,000 free rides between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. will be offered to individual passengers who obtain numbered tags at all the stations, it said. During this phase, passengers will have access to all 21 stations, it added.

After the MRT starts commercial operations March 2, passengers will be offered a 50 percent discount on all trips on the line during the first month.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel