TRA to launch real-name booking system for East Coast residents

By Christine Chou ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has announced plans for a real-name booking system to reserve train seats specially for Hualien and Taitung residents. A trial run of the system for the notoriously hard-to-get East Coast seats will begin June 1 for tickets over the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

Only two trains will be part of the trial run — one heading from Taipei to Taitung on June 9 and the other from Taitung to Taipei on June 12, said Chou Yung-hui, director-general of the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). The TRA will announce details on how to purchase the tickets on its website on May 25, and offer bookings for the two trains starting June 1, Chou said Monday during an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan. Booking during the trial run must be made in-person. People will be able to purchase two tickets each by bringing their national identification card to a ticket booth at Songshan, Banqiao, Taipei, Hualien, Yuli, Taitung or Guanshan station.

Ticketing staff will accept bookings only from people with ID numbers starting with “U” or “V” (indicating Hualien and Taitung residency, respectively).