Express bus service between Tainan, Kaohsiung Airport to be suspended

Photo courtesy of Tainan's Tourism Bureau

TAIPEI (CNA) — An express bus service between southern Tainan City and Kaohsiung International Airport will be suspended starting next month due to a significant drop in passengers because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city government said.

The bus service dubbed “the Tainan Express” will be suspended indefinitely beginning April 1, as nearly 85 percent of all flights arriving and departing from Kaohsiung International Airport have already been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the city’s Tourism Bureau said in a press release.

It is estimated that very few passengers will use the express service in the near future as the central government has since March 19 barred most foreign nationals from entering the country, and required all arrivals who do enter the country, regardless of nationality, to go into self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, the bureau noted.

Those who have already booked a ticket for the bus service after April 1 will be given a full refund and those who have further questions can call 0800-889-116, it added.

The bureau did not say when the bus service is expected to resume, only that it will do so when more inbound and outbound flights resume at Kaohsiung International Airport.

The express bus service was launched on Jan. 15 as part of Tainan’s ongoing efforts to bring more visitors to the city direct from the airport.

The Tainan Express runs directly between Kaohsiung airport and Tainan, takes about 70 minutes each way and costs NT$150 (US$4.8) for a one way trip.

Before the launch of the Tainan Express there was no direct public transport link between Tainan and Kaohsiung airport. Travelers between the two points had to take Taiwan Railway Administration trains between the two cities and the Kaohsiung MRT to or from the airport.