TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) said Monday (Sept. 21) that violations at Taipei MRT stations have risen over the last five years, with cases of fare evasion increasing by as much as 13-fold.
During a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan, Wang mentioned that a Taiwanese YouTuber had in a recent video taught his viewers how to dodge MRT fares. Wang said that although Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has criticized the individual for his behavior, loopholes in the metro system require fixing.
Wang noted that MRT violations have almost doubled since 2015, when there were 537 cases, to 959 cases last year. He noted that the top three violations are "eating and drinking in stations," "entering and exiting [the gates] without valid tickets," and "engaging in commercial activities without permission."
Wang pointed out that a total of 481 cases of fare evasion were registered between 2015 and 2019, with Ximen Station and Longshan Temple Station accounting for the majority. He added that repeat offenders were responsible for 103 instances but complained that Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC), which operates the MRT system, has done nothing to deter such behavior.
In response, TRTC Chairman Shen Chih-chang (沈志藏) promised to arrange for more ticket inspectors at larger stations and introduce stiffer penalties for fare evaders. He said commuters caught cheating on their fares will be charged 50 times their original ticket price in addition to a NT$4,500 (US$150) penalty, reported CNA.