Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Raise fares? There's no need, some bus firms say

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

While the majority of freeway and provincial highway bus operators are planning to raise ticket prices by the end of this month, some have chosen not to follow the crowd.

Kuo Kuang Bus, the nation's largest freeway bus operator, has not submitted an application to increase ticket prices to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

The company's chairman Sheng Cheng-chi (沈政祺) said yesterday that the company had managed to cut its gas costs in recent years and was not in a hurry to raise prices.

According to the ministry, operators of Freego Bus and United Highway Bus have submitted applications to increase their ticket prices.

The Hsinchu Bus and Taichung Bus companies are the only two provincial highway operators who have tendered their applications so far.

Because of the hike in fuel prices, the ministry decided earlier this year to allow provincial highway operators to hike bus fares by 6.95 percent. The freeway bus operators, on the other hand, were allowed to raise ticket prices by 15 to 19 percent, depending on the length of the route.

Ticket prices for the bus service to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport remain the same.

The ministry has only approved the maximum hike of ticket prices for bus operators. However, the ministry emphasized that firms were not obligated to increase fares by that maximum amount, and could adjust prices based on their actual demands.

The ticket prices for each route will be finalized after bus operators announce them.

The ticket price change only applies to larger buses with three or four seats per row. Those with two seats per row, such as Aloha Bus or Hohsin Bus, are not subject to the change.

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