Tue, Dec 25, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Coach companies agree not to increase bus fares

OIL DECLINE:Capital Bus and Kamalan Bus have said they would reintroduce fare discounts following a drop in fuel prices, while Kuo Kuang and Ubus still had to decide

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Acting Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai answers questions from lawmakers at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Freeway bus companies have agreed not to hike bus fares following emergency talks with Ministry of Transportation and Communications officials on Sunday night, Acting Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday, adding that no increases would be implemented until the Lunar New Year holiday.

Wang made the statement at the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee, where lawmakers asked about a freeway bus fare increase that was scheduled to be implemented next year.

Freeway bus operators had indeed planned to adjust ticket prices, but the bus fares they proposed were all below the price caps approved by the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH), Wang said.

“We understand that the bus operators have good reasons to adjust ticket prices, but taking into accounts various factors, the ministry asked bus operators to postpone the fare increase at least until the Lunar New Year holiday, to which they agreed,” Wang said.

Bus operators were only planning to reduce regular discounts on bus fares, but the ministry nevertheless believed the change would raise ticket prices and affect the public, Wang said.

The highway authority said that bus operators are permitted to raise ticket prices when fuel prices rise above a threshold, but operators do not normally propose fares that exceed the price caps approved by the DGH.

Bus companies usually sell tickets at various discounts, it said.

Companies including Kuo Kuang Motor Transport, UBus Co, Kamalan Bus and Capital Bus have applied for the price caps to be increased in June and September this year, but their requests were rejected by the DGH.

In October, the four bus operators instead applied to reduce fare discounts following a dramatic rise in operational costs as diesel prices hit NT$28 per liter.

Reducing the discounts would raise fares by NT$5 to NT$40, depending on the distance, the highway authority said.

Capital Bus and Kamalan Bus adjusted their prices this month, while Kuo Kuang and UBus were to raise their prices from Thursday and Saturday next week respectively.

However, crude oil prices declined at the end of last month, with diesel prices dropping to about NT$23.2 per liter, slightly easing the burden on bus companies.

Capital Bus and Kamalan Bus have announced a resumption of discounts, while Kuo Kuang and UBus have not yet reached final decisions on the matter.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top