Used high speed rail tickets find new life online

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Used high-speed rail tickets are unexpectedly popular on shopping websites, some sold for NT$150 apiece, raising concerns that people might purchase them for reasons other than connoisseurship.

While most of the shopping websites claimed that used tickets are sold to “collectors” of high speed rail memorabilia, the high prizes of these tickets and the detailed information online sellers provide — including time of the trains and seat arrangements — had some people wonder that the tickets might be used by people to claim fraudulent transportation expenses.

It probably works like this: One can take a bus to travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung for around NT$520, then purchase a used high-speed rail ticket for the same trip at NT$150 and then claim transportation expenses using the high-speed rail ticket. The person will receive around NT$1,500 from his or her company or organization (high-speed rail ticket price from Taipei to Kaohsiung) while actually spending only NT$670. Employees at the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. said privately that unlike the paper railway ticket, the plastic high-speed rail tickets wear out quickly and are not suitable for collection.