Thu, Dec 13, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Most people uninterested in high speed rail: survey

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) released a survey yesterday that showed that close to 60 percent of the population have neither taken the high speed rail nor felt the need to take it.

The results showed that 78 percent of adults aged 20 and above have not taken the high speed rail. Among them, nearly 76 percent of them said they do not need to use it.

Su Yuan-chiung (蘇媛瓊), chief of the ministry's statistics department, said that the public was also divided on perceptions of the ticket prices for the high speed rail.

While about 45 percent of those surveyed said the current prices were reasonable, close to 50 percent said that the scheme was unreasonable, she said.

For those who have taken the high speed rail, approximately 44 percent would choose not to take it again because it increases their travel expenses, she said.

Besides the low demand, those who have not taken the high speed rail cited other reasons. Around 13 percent said it was a hassle to travel to the nearest high speed rail station and 7 percent said the ticket prices were too expensive.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 17 and Sept. 28, when computer-assisted telephone interviews were administered, collecting 1,713 valid samples around the nation. The data was analyzed with a confidence level of 95 percent.

The survey also produced other significant results. Overall, around 45 percent of the population used automobiles to travel to the high speed rail stations. Upon arrival, close to 30 percent said they had asked someone to pick them up.

The results showed that males, the educated, government workers and those with a monthly salary of NT$200,000 or above were most likely to take the high speed rail.

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