Many important indicators in the transportation industry experienced growth last year, with the majority setting new records, statistics from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed.
The ministry said it examined 17 indicators in the land, air and sea transport services last year and found that 14 had set new records.
Compared with 2010, passenger numbers on the Taiwan Railway Administration system grew 8.5 percent to about 560,000 per day last year. Figures for the high-speed rail increased 12.7 percent to 114,000 per day.
The Taipei MRT system saw double-digit growth in daily passengers last year, increasing by 12.1 percent to 1.55 million, while the Kaohsiung MRT system’s daily passengers numbers also grew by 7.9 percent to about 136,000 daily.
The ministry’s plan to gradually increase use of the nation’s public transportation system proved effective, with passengers on public buses rising by 4.4 percent to 3.17 million per day.
In the aviation sector, total passenger numbers at Taipei International Airport (Songshan) reached 5.26 million last year, registering 41 percent growth compared with 2010. The number of passengers on cross-strait flights last year also grew 22.9 percent to a total of 7.16 million.
Strong growth was seen at the free-trade zones at the nation’s seaports as well. Trading volume in the special zones rose by 21.4 percent to top 4.08 million tonnes last year, which in turn increased trading value to an all-time high of NT$302.6 billion (US$10.22 billion).
The number of inbound visitors to Taiwan reached a historical high of 6.09 million last year, an increase of 9.3 percent over 2010. Those coming for tourism rose 11.9 percent to 3.63 million. Outbound tourists grew 1.8 percent to 9.58 million.
In addition, the amount of money stored in personal savings accounts at Chunghwa Post topped NT$4.7 trillion. The number of received and delivered packages also reached 27 million.
While three other indicators failed to set new records, the ministry said they all showed growth. The number of containers handled at the nation’s seaports grew 5.4 percent to 13.42 million twenty-foot equivalent units last year, the highest level in four years.
The amount of cargo handled at seaports topped 680 million revenue tonnes, which has been rising for two consecutive years. The same trend was also seen in the number of domestic flight passengers, rising 7.7 percent.
Despite the general growth trend in the transportation sector, the ministry’s statistics department said the number of transit flight passengers was down 8.8 percent last year to 1.81 million. The amount of cargo handled at airports also dropped 6.9 percent to 1.73 million tonnes.