The Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) on Saturday said it would this month review a ticket price adjustment proposed by highway bus operators, which they say reflects rising operating costs.
“On July 25, we established an ad hoc team to conduct a preliminary review of the Public Bus Service Association’s proposal, over which we are to deliberate further this month,” the agency said.
While public bus operators face rising costs in certain areas, a reasonable ticket price increase can only be determined after comprehensive evaluation, the agency said, adding that media reports saying that the base fare for public buses would rise from NT$25 to NT$33 are untrue.
As for a large rise in fuel prices scheduled for this week — which public bus operators could use to call for a temporary price adjustment — the agency said that ticket fares are adjusted based on the average diesel price for one month, rather than the price for one week.
“We will review the request if they actually ask for an adjustment,” it said.
Meanwhile, information from the Taipei Motor Vehicles Office on fuel bills or annual motor vehicle inspection notifications is to be made available through text messages and e-mails.
To prepare for the launch of the service, the office said that it would start collecting mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses that motor vehicle owners have voluntarily given to authorized car inspection mechanics.
The measure is part of the office’s efforts to improve its service and reduce its postage and paper costs, it said.
From Sept. 11, telecom carriers are to begin sending text messages to vehicle owners in New Taipei City, and Yilan and Hualien counties who have given their mobile phone number or e-mail address to inspection mechanics or at the office between 2013 and this year, the office said, adding that messages would contain a two-way verification link to ensure that it is received by the intended recipient.
Those who verify receipt of the message will start receiving notifications for car inspections at the end of this month, the office said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
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