Taipei, April 16 (CNA) A new pass for unlimited rides on public transportation systems in Taipei and New Taipei over a 30-day period went into use Monday after advance sales of the special ticket fell short of expectations.
The 3-in-1 “All Pass Tickets” cost NT$1,280 (US$43.56) and allow commuters unlimited rides on mass rapid transit trains and city buses and free 30-minute YouBike rides in the Greater Taipei area for a month.
The pass first went on sale on March 12, and 123,433 were sold during the advance sale period through April 15, just over half of the Taipei Department of Transportation’s goal of an average 236,000 passes sold a month.
Department official Wang Yin-chu (王湮筑) said it was still too early to determine if the pass will prove popular or not because commuters may have not yet figured out if the pass is a good deal for them.
Also, most people did not start buying the passes until the past week as the launch date drew nearer, with 18,000 sold on Sunday alone, Wang said.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, the new passes had been used 107,539 times at MRT gates in the two cities, Wang said, but usage numbers on public buses in the two cities were not yet known.
An average of 2 million people ride the Greater Taipei MRT system each day, and another 2.1 million people take city buses.
Of the 2 million MRT users, around 200,000 spend more than NT$1,200 a month for the service, according to the department.
(By Liang Pei-chi and Elizabeth Hsu)