Mon, Apr 04, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Alishan Forest Railway ticket prices to go up

FIRST HIKE IN 20 YEARS:The TRA said that the percentage increase in price was calculated by taking into account the system’s operating cost

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Alishan Forest Railway train fare is to rise next month, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday, adding that it is the first price hike in 20 years.

The forest railway is one of the few logging railways from the Japanese colonial era still in use.

It was severely damaged by Typhoon Morakot in 2009.

The administration said the railway is located in a mountainous area, and the personnel and resources needed to maintain such a system far exceeds regular railways.

According to the administration, the system’s operating cost is NT$26.84 per kilometer, not taking into account the cost of repairing the railway after it was damaged by Typhoon Morakot.

Using the operating cost to calculate ticket prices, a one-way ticket from Chiayi Station to Fengchi Lake Station would cost NT$1,230, while a one-way ticket from Alishan Station to Jushan Station would cost NT$185.

The administration said that to determine the percentage increase in price, it had consulted other government agencies, adding that it decided to raise the ticket price only slightly after considering how a price hike would affect passengers.

Specifically, a one-way ticket from Chiayi to Fengchi Lake would cost NT$384, up from NT$240.

The new train fares are to come into effect on May 1.

A ticket from Alishan to Jushan is to rise from NT$100 to NT$150, while a ticket from Alishan to Shenmu Station costs NT$100 and the same price is to be charged for passengers heading from Alishan to Jhaoping Station.

All the discounts given to passengers buying round-trip tickets are to be canceled, the administration added.

The administration estimated that revenue would increase by NT$9.8 million (US$302,675) per year.

Last year, the railway serviced an average of 5,503 passengers per day.

A special offer is to see passengers boarding the train system from Chiayi to Fengchi Lake from May 1 to May 30 given a free ticket from Alishan to Jhaoping or Shenmu.

The free tickets are to be valid until Dec. 31.

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