High speed rail to start selling Tomb Sweeping Festival tickets

CNA file photo
CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — Ticket sales for Taiwan’s bullet train service around the April 2-5 Tomb Sweeping Festival will start from midnight Saturday, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) announced Friday, adding that tighter disease control measures will be imposed in anticipation of the spike in traffic.

Passengers will be able to buy tickets between April 1-6, when an extra 190 services will be added to the current schedule to provide a total of 1,056 services, the company said.

To better prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, THSRC said, it installed three infrared thermometers at its Taipei Station the previous day, after introducing two such facilities at the Taoyuan Station last week.

The company said it will complete similar installations at Taichung and at Zuoying in Kaohsiung before the holiday, and passengers showing a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius will be advised not to take the train and will have their tickets fully refunded.

All 12 stations on the high speed train network will be equipped with infrared thermometers by the end of April, it said.

In addition, THSRC said that from March 16, it will disinfect carriages whenever a train concludes a service and arrives at the terminal. Currently, the carriages are only cleaned once per day.

Another measure being taken is to sell only reserved seats on all train services scheduled for the holiday, in order to prevent overcrowding, the company said.

No non-reserved tickets, which allow people to stand if there are no seats available in the non-reserved carriages, will be sold for travel on those six days.

Also, no period tickets, multi-ride tickets and smart cards such as EasyCard and iPASS co-branded cards, will be accepted, the company said.

THSRC, which currently offers about 180,000 rides per day, said it has also started disinfecting its stations every two hours, rather than every four hours, from last week.