Transportation authorities say they are hoping that an extension of the contract to use Hello Kitty images on Taipei’s Maokong Gondola, as well as new digitally accessible pictures on the Mass Rapid Transit system’s security gates, will help to boost ridership and increase the fun factor for passengers.
The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) in December last year introduced Hello Kitty-themed cable cars to the Maokong Gondola in a bid to increase the popularity of a line that has bled money for years.
The company not only painted the gondolas’ exteriors with Hello Kitty imagery, but also put up avatars of the icon and related products around the information center and the entrance.
Photo: Hsieh Chia-chun, Taipei Times
According to the TRTC, from the beginning of the year through to the end of October, the Maokong Gondola has seen an increase of 530,000 rides, for a total of 2.7 million rides during the period.
The company said it has extended its contract with the Taiwanese representative of Sanrio — the Japanese maker Hello Kitty products — until May 5 next year.
The company has begun selling multiple products in the run-up to Christmas, including Christmas-themed EasyCards, lunch boxes and thermos cups. The sales will continue through Jan. 4.
The company said it is also offering surprise gift items for sale on a weekly basis, such as prismatic stickers, postcards, envelopes and other items.
Meanwhile, the TRTC said it hopes to offer some light relief to MRT passengers waiting for trains through recently decorated security gates on Songshan line platforms that feature work from renowned illustrators, such as Duncan and byebyechuchu.
One of the drawings, titled the Mundane Affairs of Taipei (台北大小事), features a white-collar worker thinking to himself: “I tell myself every Monday, that the day after the day after tomorrow is another Friday.”
Another illustration features another worker saying: “I’m dog-tired,” while beside him, a puppy chews its dinner with a thought bubble indicating that it is thinking: “I’m not tired at all.”
The company said that passengers could scan QR codes on the gates to gain access to a Web site in which they can fill in their own feelings and thoughts for the speech bubbles.
It should help provide an additional distraction during the wait for a train, the company said.
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s