Easycard now set to be ac­cepted on the Kaoh­si­ung metro sys­tem

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS -

Taipei’s sub­way sys­tem will be­gin ac­cept­ing iPass smart­cards in Septem­ber, but EasyCard hold­ers will have to wait un­til next year to en­joy cash­less travel on Kaoh­si­ung’s metro sys­tem.

Easycard In­vest­ment Hold­ing Co. Chair­man Ken­neth Lin said his com­pany’s stored value EasyCard will be ac­cepted by Kaoh­si­ung’s metro sys­tem next March at the ear­li­est.

Kaoh­si­ung Rapid Transit Corp. promised that new card read­ers at the en­trances of all sta­tions will be ready next July at the latest, said EasyCard Corp., which is owned by the in­vest­ment hold­ing com­pany.

If there are de­lays in the in­stal­la­tion of new read­ers, EasyCard Corp. will set up EasyCard card read­ers at all sta­tions in the Kaoh­si­ung Metro at its own ex­pense, the com­pany said.

Taipei and Kaoh­si­ung had been at odds over the use of their re­spec­tive stored value cards for public trans­porta­tion use. Each side has ac­cused the other of re­strict­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

The EasyCard has been the dom­i­nant card in most of Tai­wan, but Kaoh­si­ung has tried to chal­lenge its supremacy by rolling out the iPass and al­low­ing only the iPass to be used on the city’s lim­ited sub­way net­work.

At the same time, Taipei has not al­lowed the use of the iPass on the Taipei Metro sys­tem.

Un­der the new agree­ment, ded­i­cated card read­ers com­pat­i­ble with all cards, in­clud­ing the iPass, will be in­stalled at the spe- cial wide gates of­fer­ing bar­ri­er­free ac­cess at the Taipei Metro sys­tem’s 117 sta­tions be­gin­ning in Septem­ber.

All au­to­matic gates in the sys­tem will have card read­ers that can ac­cept the iPass by July 2015, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. said.

The EasyCard cur­rently ap­plies to a wide range of cash­less pay­ments, in­clud­ing Taipei Metro fares, bus ser­vices in ma­jor Tai­wanese cities, reg­u­lar rail­way and high-speed rail tick­ets, taxi fares, and small pay­ments at des­ig­nated stores.

Kaoh­si­ung’s iPass can be used in sim­i­lar trans­ac­tions, but it is cur­rently lim­ited to the Kaoh­si­ung sub­way sys­tem and its part­ner stores ac­cept­ing small pay­ments with the iPass are mostly in the south­ern city.

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