The Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) yesterday announced an increase in fares for the Maokong Gondola. Starting next month, the fare for passengers making one-way trips between the gondola’s two terminals, Maokong and Taipei Zoo, is to be raised from NT$50 (US$1.47) to NT$120.
As there are a total of four stations along the gondola line, people are to be charged NT$70 if they disembark at the next station from where they start their trip, NT$100 if they pass through one station, and NT$120 if they take a full trip, the firm said.
Taipei residents using EasyCards for their gondola rides are to be charged a preferential price of NT$50 per ride, while residents of the four boroughs in Taipei’s Wenshan District (文山), where the gondola passes through — Jhihnan (指南), Laocyuan (老泉), Jhengda (政大) and Wansin (萬興) — can have access to unlimited rides within the same day for NT$60.
Children from the ages of six to 12, people aged 65 or older, mentally or physically challenged people holding government-issued documents specifying their disabilities and Taipei-based Aborigines aged 55 or older are to be charged a discounted price of NT$50 per ride.
The price hike is a policy to reduce deficits incurred by the gondola’s system — whose operation has been in the red for the past three years — which according to the Taipei Department of Transportation amounted to about NT$100 million each year between 2012 and 2014.
TRTC Transport Section deputy director Chen Chien-tsai (陳建財) said the price increase is expected to increase revenue generated by the gondola by between NT$40 million and NT$50 million per year.
Some Taipei City councilors last month said the fare hike risks upsetting passenger volumes.
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