Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

New Year ferry services reunite Kinmen families

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A special ferry chartered by the Kinmen County Government to help people visit their relatives on Kinmen during the Lunar New Year holidays arrived at Liaoluo Harbor yesterday morning after a nine-hour journey from Taichung Harbor.

A total of 355 people took advantage of the special ferry service set up by the county government for the first time as a solution to the problem of limited availability of air tickets during the holiday period because of high demand.

Passengers aboard the Kinmen Express received a warm welcome as well as red envelopes from Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) upon their arrival in Kinmen.

Happy customers

Most of the passengers interviewed expressed satisfaction with the ferry service. Some of them said they took the ferry because there were no plane tickets available, while others said they decided to return home by sea as the cost was much lower than flying.

As the county government bore most of the cost of providing the ferry service, adult passengers were charged only NT$500 for a one-way ticket.

Traffic

Lunar New Year traffic has long been a headache for people from Kinmen who live on Taiwan proper and wish to return home to reunite with family during the holidays, as there are only a limited number of flights and no regular passenger ferry service linking the two islands.

The Kinmen Express will depart on its return trip to Taichung Harbor at 10pm on Feb. 24, the county government said.

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