Thu, Feb 22, 2007 - Page 2 News List

TRA reports low Lunar New Year's ticket sales

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administra-tion (TRA) yesterday reported a lackluster ticket sales performance during the Lunar New Year holiday this year, with the daily operational loss between Saturday and Tuesday exceeding NT$4 million (US$125,000).

TRA Secretary General Chang Ying-huei (張應輝) said that the total number of tickets, when calculated by the date of departure, dropped 8 percent compared with last year.

Chang added that the administration had suffered this year mainly because of the high speed rail, which has been offering half-price discounts to customers over the past two months. In addition, the launch of the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway (Freeway No. 5) and the MRT Tucheng Line have contributed to lower ticket sales.

Chang emphasized that the loss was expected and was "within manageable range."

He also said that train services had greatly improved. More people could find seats and fast boarding meant trains were not being delayed.

Chang said the TRA will continue monitoring its performance, particularly when the high speed rail begins to sell full-price tickets next month.

The administration began selling Lunar New Year holiday tickets on Jan. 27. Despite the loss, the administration said that advance ticket sales for the Lunar New Year this year had risen 8 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, the administration said its newly-purchased automatic ticket machines would be activated nationwide in the next few months.

The new machines have several user-friendly features. Customers can pay in bills or coins. The machines can also inform about seat availability on express trains.

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