Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s (THSRC) board of directors yesterday evening passed a proposal to raise ticket prices, with passengers expected to start paying more for high-speed rail tickets beginning in October.
The high-speed rail contractor decided to adjust its ticket prices based on the terms of its build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), allowing the company to raise prices if there is an increase in operational costs.
The decision passed at the meeting of the board of directors will have to be submitted to the MOTC for future reference. The company is obligated to display a notice announcing the ticket price adjustment for one month after completing all the procedures required by the MOTC.
Ministry of Transportation and Communications Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said the company had the right to raise the ticket price based on the BOT contract, adding that the ministry had told the company to lower the impact of the price adjustment on consumers.
The ministry respected the decision made by the company’s board of directors, he said.
Prior to launch of the high-speed rail, the ministry approved the basic rate of high-speed rail travel to be NT$3.655 per passenger-kilometer.
In 2009, the ministry approved an increase in the basic rate to NT$3.875 per passenger-kilometer.
However, the company did not change the ticket prices at that time because the nation was suffering from the economic recession caused by the financial meltdown on Wall Street.
This year, the ministry agreed to a raise in the basic rate to NT$4.009 per passenger-kilometer.
The contract states that the company is entitled to increase the ministry-approved rate by up to 20 percent.
The company’s board directors decided to set the basic rate at NT$4.8108 per passenger-kilometer.
Under the new basic rate, ticket prices for high-speed rail travel are to increase by 9.69 percent. Round-trip tickets between Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung would increase by NT$280.