Gondola discounts offered
In conjunction with the summer activities organized by the Taipei City’s Department of Education, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) has announced preferential deals for riding the Maokong Gondola this month and next. Children who are 12 years old or under are eligible to take the gondola for free until Aug. 31 by showing ID documents at the gondola, TRTC said. Riders over the age of 12 can take advantage of a “buy-one-get-one-free” gondola ticket offer during the same period. TRTC said the offer is limited to one-way tickets, which cost NT$50, not concession tickets. Various discounts are available at the two Metro Souvenir Shops located at Taipei Main Station and Maokong Gondola Station. To save having to stand line, TRTC is encouraging tourists to make online reservations on the day before they plan to ride the gondola at http://gondola.tr
Warning on bridge work
People commuting from Taipei City to New Taipei City (新北市) can expect delays on their way home for the next two months as the Directorate-General of Highways is scheduled to begin maintenance work on the Zhongshan Overpass of Provincial Highway No. 1 on Wednesday. Deputy Director Chao Hsin-hua (趙興華) said the outside lane will be closed so the bridge deck and expansion joint can be upgraded, a process that is scheduled to last 60 days. Should commuters choose to continue using the Overpass during this period, Chao said they are advised to avoid the peak hours: 7am to 9:30am, 5pm to 8pm and 9:30pm to 10:30pm. Traveling time could increase by 40 to 50 minutes, he said. Meanwhile, traffic congestion could also occur on the Zhongxiao Bridge, Beimen Overpass, Civil Boulevard and Huanhe Expressway. Commuters are advised to take the Xinzhuang MRT Line and Luzhou MRT Line or other public transport systems to avoid traffic jams.
Chinese top visitor arrivals
Taiwan recorded 2.97 million visitors in the first five months of this year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior yesterday. As the biggest source of visitors, China accounted for 48.9 percent of arrivals, followed by Japan with 20.4 percent and the US with 5.5 percent, the data showed. Most of the visits, 66.2 percent, were for tourism purposes. Meanwhile, outbound visits from Taiwan totaled 4.1 million in the same period, with the top destinations being China (including Hong Kong and Macau), with 55.8 percent of outbound trips, Japan with 14.5 percent and South Korea with 5 percent. The ministry said the total number of trips by Taiwanese in and out of the country was 14.05 million in the same period, which was an increase of 15.7 percent year-on-year.
Wang Jin-pyng to visit Japan
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will lead a delegation to Japan today to look at earthquake reconstruction work that was funded by donations from Taiwan. Wang, accompanied by legislators from across party lines, Red Cross Society of the Republic of China president Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) and tourism operators, will visit Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, two of the areas hardest hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year. Wang said the delegation will pay their respects to people in the disaster areas and also seek to boost tourism exchanges between Taiwan and the two prefectures.