Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Inflation likely to drive high-speed rail fare higher


Train tickets for the nation's high speed rail line, which is expected to launch in October, could be raised by between NT$7 and NT$68 after an adjustment due to consumer price increases, the Ministry of Transportation and Communi-cations said yesterday.

The ministry said that the basic rate for every passenger-kilometer was originally set at NT$3.459 and that the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) has proposed a hike to NT$3.655.

The THSRC, which is building Taiwan's first high-speed rail system, will operate the system for 35 years before transferring it to the government under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) mechanism.

According to the new rate proposed by the THSRC, the price for a Taipei-Taoyuan train ticket will be raised to NT$135 from NT$128, while the Taipei to Kaohsiung fare will be increased to NT$1,241 from NT$1,173.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei (蔡堆) said that the BOT contract stipulates that the THSRC can adjust its basic rate in line with consumer price index increases.

The THSRC's new rate proposal is currently at the ministry's Bureau of High Speed Rail and has yet to be sent to the ministry, Tsai said, adding that the ministry would "agree to the increase in principle."

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