Fri, May 31, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Shuttle to serve Pingtung’s Wutai

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Directorate-General of Highways is funding a shuttle service in Pingtung County’s Wutai Township (霧台) that will deliver groceries and provide transport to hospitals, starting tomorrow, the township office said.

“We dreamed of having public transportation, and now it is no longer a dream, but a reality,” Wutai Mayor Tu Cheng-chi (杜正吉) said.

The majority of residents in Wutai, which is comprised of six villages, were relocated following the destruction of their homes by Typhoon Morakot on Aug. 8, 2009.

The bus is to service four routes at different times, the agency said.

Two of the routes — from Labuwan Village (大武) to Pingtung Christian Hospital and from Kinuane Village (百合) to Pingtung City — would be serviced on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it said.

The other two routes, serviced on Tuesday and Thursdays, would go from Karamemedesane Village (佳暮) to the hospital and from Rinali Village (禮納里) to Pingtung City, it added.

As most passengers are expected to be older people, the shuttle service would be open for reservations and would pick up such passengers at their doorstep, the agency said, adding that grocery delivery services could also be reserved in advance.

Wutai is the second community to have a dedicated shuttle service after Chunrih Township (春日), the Pingtung County Government said.

The county government said that it was in talks with the agency on two more shuttle routes for Laiyi (來義) and Manzhou (滿州) townships, adding that it hopes to provide more shuttle services for people living in rural areas.

Despite the agency having completed the Guchuan Bridge (谷川大橋) leading to Wutai in 2013, winding mountain roads have turns that are too sharp for medium-sized buses to be able to reach villages further afield, Kaohsiung Motor Vehicles Office Deputy Director Lee Jui-ming (李瑞銘) said.

The situation has led to many older people in the rural areas putting off hospital visits, complicating their health issues, Lee said, adding that the shuttle service should provide them greater convenience.

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