Kaohsiung MRT usage falls
The number of passengers using the Kaohsiung MRT on Wednesday — the first day of service at regular fares — was down by 12,000 compared with the previous day, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) said yesterday. Fares on the MRT had been reduced to NT$15 for the period between Sept. 22 and Tuesday to celebrate the launch of services on the Orange Line on Sept. 14. Passenger numbers for Wednesday were 102,000 — with 78,000 using the Red Line and 24,000 using the Orange Line — down from Tuesday’s total of 114,000, KRTC statistics showed. With the launch of regular fares on Wednesday, KRTC also began offering a 15 percent discount for passengers using I-Pass cards. KRTC Public Affairs Department director Huang Yi-chung (黃一中) said the company had decided to offer the discounted fare for I-Pass holders after taking both cost and passenger numbers into consideration.
Festival to be held in Shilin
Taipei City’s Shilin (士林) District Office will hold the Shilin International Culture Festival on Sunday, featuring local and foreign performances and delicacies to bring foreign communities together. The event, which will begin at 10am on Sunday morning at Tianmu Sports Park, will feature African drumming performances, whipping top games and Chinese speaking and reading contests. More than 20 booths displaying foreign cultures and offering foreign cuisine will also be part of the festival, the office said. As many residents in the district are from overseas, the festival provides an opportunity to bring different foreign communities together, while introducing their individual cultures to Taiwanese, the office said. For more information, contact the office on (02) 2882-6200 ext. 6011.
Fair to be biggest ever
This year’s Taipei International Travel Fair will open next Friday at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Exhibition Hall 1 for a four-day run. Taiwan Visitors Association, the event’s organizer, said travel industry exhibitors from 62 countries will operate a record 1,206 stalls at the travel fair. The exhibition will be divided into two parts — an area for international exhibitors and an area for exhibitors from Taiwan and China. Many travel agencies and hotels will be offering discounts — from 33 percent to 50 percent — to attract customers, the organizer said. Admission to the exhibition will be NT$200, and those who buy 10 tickets or more will be given a 20 percent discount.
IDF pilots’ parachutes found
The Air Force yesterday said the chances of finding the two missing pilots from the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) that crashed off the coast of Penghu on Monday still alive were minimal as rescuers had discovered their parachutes, which had not been deployed. Air Force officials said the coastguard and rescue workers had collected another 20 pieces of debris from the jet fighter near the crash site yesterday. Meanwhile, the cockpit voice recorder of the IDF has been retrieved and was being analyzed. There was no further information regarding DNA tests on three body parts found on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in Hualien, the site of another crash on Tuesday, coastguards and rescue workers were continuing work in the hope of retrieving more debris from the downed S-70C helicopter and were still searching for the two crew members, who remained missing as of press time yesterday.
Government plugs products
The government will arrange a series of activities to promote products made in Taiwan, starting with a fair to plug agricultural products this weekend at Songshan Tobacco factory in Taipei, Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said yesterday. Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄), who is responsible for the upcoming fair, said the council would announce the details today. Chen said the government would hand out dragon fruit free of charge to people attending the event, while people who purchase a certain amount of products will be given a small package of rice and a T-shirt bearing the word “Malasun,” the brand of millet wine in the hit film Cape No. 7 (海角七號).
Fertilizer price to drop
The price of fertilizer derived from petroleum will be cut by NT$50 per 40kg bag effective Nov. 1 in response to declining oil prices, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) said yesterday. The prices of other fertilizers, however, will not be lowered for the time being, as international raw material prices have shown no signs of abating, Chen said after a weekly Executive Yuan meeting. Urea is the only chemical fertilizer derived from petroleum. Following a May 30 price adjustment, a 40kg bag of urea cost between NT$520 and NT$530, up from between NT$360 and NT$370. During the weekly Cabinet meeting, the Executive Yuan also approved a rural village renewal draft bill aimed at improving the livelihoods of some 600,000 families in more than 4,000 villages across the country. Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said the bill was part of the government’s i-Taiwan 12 infrastructure projects.