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July 24, 2017

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MRT passengers in Kaohsiung have to be taught not to be pesky

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan -- One of the most urgents thing Kaohsiung's newly inaugurated mass rapid transit system has to do is teach passengers not to bother the employees.

The Kaohsiung Metro was opened to service on Sunday. People can take free rides for one full month.

So lots of elderly gentlemen and ladies have tried the novelty over the past three days.

And many of them, who were taking the rides for the first time in their lives, didn't know what to do with so many novel switches aboard MRT trains as well as in MRT stations. One most frequent made mistake was an emergency alarm taken for a flush switch for the toilet.

Station employees had to rush to women's restrooms once every few minutes. Many an old lady pushed the alarm button, thinking she was flushing the toilet bowl.

The alarm bell would ring, prompting other women in the restroom into hysteric outbursts.

Aboard the train, passengers would take an emergency call button for the one to open the doors. Some thought it the button they had to push to signal to stop the train at the next station so they could get off.

Some even took off a lid of the emergency stop switch box and flipped the switch on, just out of curiosity.

Many more passengers chewed betel nut or gum. Others carried food and drinks aboard the trains.

Metro officials are warning passengers against all these pranks.

"We are just warning now," said an MRT spokesman yesterday.

After the one-month free-ride period, the spokesman said, the Metro has to start fining pranksters, even if they are unwittingly making the mistakes.

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