Is TRA Mobile Ticketing App Glitch Issuing Ghost Tickets?

TRA ticket
A woman boarded a train in Taiwan to discover that her reserved seat did not exist. Photo courtesy of Ms. Chang

Mobile apps have made travel around Taiwan easier and more convenient, but there have been hiccups along the way. One unlucky railway traveler claimed that she was issued a “ghost” ticket when she discovered that her reserved seat was non-existent.

Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) recently launched its updated mobile ticketing app, 台鐵e訂通2019, allowing passengers to purchase tickets on their phones and receive a QR code in place of a paper ticket.

One TRA app user surnamed Chang told Apple Daily that she had booked a ticket on April 28 for a trip from Hualien to Chishang. The QR code gave her seat 41 in car number 3, but upon entering the train carriage the seat numbers only went to 40. Chang provided the media outlet with a screenshot of her digital ticket as well as a photo from the train, indicating that the seat number did not exist.

She said that she was forced to stand in the train carriage until a conductor found her an available seat.

In response to the issue, the TRA said that due to repairs to the regular trains on the route, Chang’s seat was unavailable as the train used in its place has fewer seats. The 2900-class trains have 44 seats available, while the 2800-class that ran in that instance only has 40 per car. The train operator also noted that the there are two additional seats to use at the conductor’s discretion.

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