Taipei city buses re­ceive 100,000 for­eign coins over four years

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Coin col­lect­ing boxes in­stalled on buses op­er­at­ing in Taipei have re­ceived around 100,000 for­eign coins and nearly 10,000 gam­ing to­kens over the past four years, the Taipei City Public Trans­porta­tion Of­fice has re­ported.

As lo­cal banks only ac­cept for­eign pa­per money and not coins for ex­changes, most bus op­er­a­tors sim­ply store them in ware­houses or sell them for their scrap value.

The more-than 110,000 for­eign coins and game to­kens col­lected be­tween 2011 and 2014 weigh about 400 kilo­grams in to­tal and come from China, the United States, Canada and Viet­nam, among var­i­ous other coun­tries.

If they are sold as scrap, they would fetch NT$ 23,000 ( US$ 703) at most, but could fetch a higher price from lo­cal stamp and coin firms.

Metropoli­tan Trans­port Corp., one of the Taipei city bus op­er­a­tors, said that most of its bus fare rev­enue comes from EasyCard hold­ers and that coins only ac­count for 8 per­cent of the rev­enue.

About 1 per­cent of the col­lected coins are for­eign cur­rency or game to­kens, the com­pany said.

One bus driver said he can only de­ter­mine by eye the coins dumped into the fare hopper by pas­sen­gers, but as the time at each stop is short and the num­ber of pas­sen­gers can be high, it is some­times dif­fi­cult to tell if the right coins are be­ing put in the box.

The Taipei City Public Trans­port Of­fice said it is will­ing to help bus op­er­a­tors to co­or­di­nate with banks to help solve the prob­lem.

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