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Taiwan High Speed Rail 200 millionth passenger

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. has carried its 200 millionth passenger, marking a milestone in the company's high-speed railway service that has been operating for more than five years, a spokesman for the company said Monday.

The landmark passenger appeared earlier in the day, and the company was checking on the identity of the person, who will win a prize of a year's-worth of unlimited free non-reserved seat tickets for travel on the high-speed railway, the spokesman said.

The company would be able to identify the lucky passenger very quickly if the person bought the ticket via a smart phone or credit card. If cash was used to make the payment, however, it would take longer, the spokesman said.

The company was scheduled to announce the identity of the 200 millionth passenger the following day, the spokesman added, noting that the ticket-buyers on either side of the winning passenger will each be given eight free business-class tickets.

The high-speed rail operator carried its 100 millionth passenger in a little over two years of operation. Currently, the average daily passenger capacity stands at more than 120,000, the company said.

The line, which runs between Taipei in the north of the country and Kaohsiung in the south, began commercial operations in March 2007. (By Lin Shen-hsu and Elizabeth H