Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 12 News List

THSRC aims for passenger increase

THE COLOR OF MONEY With the firm’s new ‘Dual Color Promotion,’ Taiwan High Speed Rail hopes to increase its daily passenger volume to further boost revenue growth

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) said yesterday that it hoped to increase daily passenger volume by between 11 percent and 18 percent to 100,000 passengers following the company’s latest promotion.

“Currently, the daily passenger numbers on THSRC are between 85,000 and 90,000. With this new campaign the company hopes to increase daily passengers to 100,000,” said Ted Chia (賈先德), THSRC vice president of public affairs.

THSRC also said it was planning a joint venture with convenience stores that would allow passengers to book online and pick up their tickets at their closest store. Details of the scheme were still being hammered out, the company said. Current booking methods include ticket booths and machines at THSRC stations, as well as online.

Since January of last year, the accumulated number of passengers that have traveled on the nation’s first high speed rail link has reached 38 million, THSRC’s figures showed.

Since May of last year, THSRC has experienced steady revenue growth month on month. The company reported a record high monthly revenue of NT$2.1 billion (US$65.3 million) in August, said Christina Tao (陶令瑜), THSRC’s media relations manager said yesterday.

The high speed rail network runs north to south along the west coast and since it started services has snatched passengers from domestic airlines, prompting several carriers to cancel services. The company said it would lower its ticket prices to encourage repeat customers and increase its revenues.

A new promotion, titled the “Dual Color Promotion,” will begin on Nov. 1 and offer discounts of either 15 percent or 35 percent off normal ticket prices. “Dual Color” refers to the firm’s corporate colors of orange and blue.

Based on these new discounts, travelers from Taipei to Zuoying (左營) will pay NT$965 for a one-way ticket and they can save up to NT$1,050 on a round trip.

“THSRC’s internal studies show that 95 percent of our customers are repeat travelers, so in order to capitalize on this group we are introducing the ‘Dual Color Promotion’ to encourage them to travel more frequently and to encourage them to incorporate high speed rail travel into their regular travel schedules — either business or pleasure,” Chia said.

So far, 70 percent of the public have yet to use the high speed rail, the company said. The promotion is a way of enticing them to consider the high speed rail when traveling, especially amid the current economic slowdown, the company said.

“THSRC has increased domestic travel and contributes up to 1 percent GDP growth to the nation,” Chia said.

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