Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Bus fares will not go up, says DGH

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Though the price of gas has continued to rise since the beginning of this month, the Directorate General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday that national freeway bus fares were unlikely to follow the gas price hike for the moment.

DGH Director General James Chen (陳晉源) told reporters yesterday that the directorate had passed a resolution in February which stipulates that freeway bus service operators can automatically adjust bus fares when the weighted average of the diesel price announced by the CPC, Taiwan has exceeded NT$25.63 per liter.

Meanwhile, the directorate calculated the average price on the July 1, July 4, July 11 and yesterday and gained a weighted average diesel price of NT$25.827, only slightly above the legally-required adjustment threshold, he said.

Using the weighted average price of diesel, the directorate also calculated the increase in operational costs for bus operators and how gas price increases would translate to a fare increase per passenger per kilometer. The directorate found that should bus operators raise the fare, an increase would only be 2.27 percent.

"If they [the freeway bus operators] go ahead and increase the price, the increase will only be within NT$1 to NT$2, depending on the routes," Chen said.

The bus operators would hesitate to increase the price immediately since the law also says that the operators can only raise prices again four months after an initial increase, he added.

Chen said the new price plan must first be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and must be sent to nation's vehicle registration department for future reference.

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