The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday denied that it plans to raise the fare for its commuter train service immediately, saying that it is only evaluating the possibility of setting different ticket prices for different types of passengers.
A story published in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday said that the state-run railways operator has not raised ticket prices in 18 years. It reportedly became pressed to increase prices following its purchase of new trains in recent years, including the Puyuma Express (普悠瑪號) tilting trains and EMU800-model commuter trains.
The report also said that the new ticket prices, which will reportedly be announced by the end of this year, would not affect long-distance travelers. The starting price for short-distance tickets would be raised to NT$20, which would have a direct impact on about 400,000 commuters around the nation, according to the report.
In response, the administration said that the Legislative Yuan had passed a resolution in March asking it to study the possibility of offering different fares in peak and off-peak hours, or for passengers making early reservations and those who buy tickets at the last moment.
The TRA said that it simply followed the resolution and entrusted experts with the task of studying the options available and if any of them are viable.
To raise ticket prices, the administration said it must first deliver the formula to be used to calculate the new ticket price to the Executive Yuan for approval, as the Railways Act (鐵路法) requires. The legislature must also approve the formula for it to take effect.
Should the ticket price be adjusted based on the approved formula, the price increase must again be approved by the Executive Yuan before it can take effect, the administration said.