Pricing for Taipei MRT tickets could change by the end of the year, with the 20 percent discount for using electronic payment cards replaced by a frequency-based scheme, if a new proposal is approved, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said this week.
The new pricing scheme might charge people based on how often they use the metro rail system, with those using the service more than 40 times a month possibly receiving a discount of more than 20 percent, said TRTC, the government-owned corporation that operates the Taipei MRT.
Under the proposal, occasional MRT users would receive a lower discount, but details were still being finalized, the company said, adding that the pricing plan is to be reviewed by the Taipei City Government by the end of this year.
While its operational costs continue to increase with the network’s expansion, it has not increased fares since the first line opened in 1996, the company said.
The pricing scheme is not good for marketing and not fair to users, it said.
The 20 percent discount was part of a campaign launched to implement the government’s policy of having a transportation system that uses electronic payment cards. This goal has been met, as 97 percent of people who use the Taipei MRT use electronic cards to pass through ticket gates.
The amount saved with the 20 percent discount totaled NT$42.4 billion (US$1.37 billion) as of last year, it said.
A pricing adjustment could prompt people to take fewer long-haul rides, while New Taipei City councilors have said that the campaign might discourage its residents from using the system, it said.
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