Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday promised to make no adjustments to public transportation fares in the wake of recent fuel price increases, stressing that there would be no fare increases during his term in office.
Gasoline and diesel prices rose by an average of 10.7 percent last week, the steepest pace in nearly four years, following a decision by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to end a cap on fuel-price increases.
The price increases sparked concerns about higher fares on public transportation, as well as price rises of various other products.
New Party Taipei City Councilor Wang Hong-wei (王鴻薇) yesterday expressed concerns about fares on the city’s public transportation systems and school lunch fees in the wake of the fuel price rises, calling on the Taipei City Government to maintain its current fares.
“The fuel price increase has added a heavy burden to our residents and now there is speculation that fares on public transportation and school lunch fees will also increase. I hope the mayor can promise that no adjustments will be made,” she said during a -question-and--answer session at the Taipei City Council.
Hau said he had promised to keep the fares on the city’s buses and the MRT unchanged during his term and that promise remains unchanged despite the fuel price rises.
“The city government has always encouraged the public to take advantage of the public transportation system and we will make no fare adjustments on the city’s buses and the MRT during my term,” Hau said.
Following the fuel price increases, the Department of Transportation said it would closely examine the formula for calculating fares proposed by bus companies and continue to work with companies to resolve the issue of mounting fuel costs and the related subsidies.
Hau said he would instruct the city’s Department of Education to handle the issue of school lunch fees with caution, but added that the city government would ensure the continuation of the free school lunch program for disadvantaged children and students from low-income families.