Taiwan’s high speed rail fares to rise in October


TAIPEI–Travel on Taiwan’s bullet trains will be up to 9.6 percent more expensive in October after the transportation ministry approved on Thursday a plan by the high-speed rail line’s operator to increase its fares.

Under the price hike that will take effect on Oct. 1, a standard one-way ticket from Taipei to Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung will cost NT$1,630 (US$54.40), up NT$140 from the current NT$1,490.

The price hike will be the first since the high-speed rail began commercial operations in 2007, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.

Fares were to have been increased in 2009, the ministry said, but the plan was shelved because Taiwan’s economy was still suffering from the effects of the global financial crisis.

In approving the higher fares, the ministry asked the line’s operator, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp., to take the sting out of the fare increases by offering several discounts, including for frequent, off-peak or low income travelers.