Discount to shrink to 10% on bullet train business class


TAIPEI — Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) will cut the discount for business class seats by half to 10 percent starting August 1, the company said Tuesday.

The lower discount means that one-way business class fare between Taipei and Kaohsiung will go up by NT$245 (US$8.05) to NT$2,195, according to the company.

Each bullet train has one business class carriage with 66 seats and 11 standard class carriages. The business class fare between Taipei and Kaohsiung is NT$2,440, but it has been discounted to NT$1,950 since March 1, 2008.

The company said that when it started the north-south rail line in January 2007, it sold fewer than 20 percent of its business class seats, and offered the 20 percent discount to boost ridership.

In recent years, however, passenger load factors in business class have risen to 60 percent, and nearly 80 percent at peak hours, leading to the decision to reduce the long-standing discount, the company said.

The high speed rail line will start on July 5 to accept orders for business class tickets for travel after Aug. 1.