The operator of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT) system said at the weekend that the system would handle 11 percent more passengers per day this year than it did last year, easing the financial woes that have plagued the system since it opened in 2008.
As a result of the merger of Kaohsiung city and county on Dec. 25 and the resulting addition of bus lines connecting various areas around what was Kaohsiung County to KMRT stations, the system is expected to handle an average of 141,000 passengers per day this year, a Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) official said.
That would be a big improvement over 2008 and 2009, when the network averaged 118,000 and 127,000 passengers per day respectively, KRTC Department of Public Affairs director Chang Hsiu-chi (張修齊) said.
However, the system still posted an operating loss of NT$2.5 billion (US$86 million) last year, cushioned by a NT$1 billion grant from a Kaohsiung City Government MRT fund.
KRTC would break even if average volume reached 380,000 passengers a day, Chang said. He added that the target was attainable within eight years if passenger numbers grew between 7 percent and 10 percent annually.
To boost passenger numbers, the KMRT operator is also planning to build a light rail rapid transit system around the city, thereby extending the reach of the existing Red Line and Orange Line — the two lines that make up the Kaohsiung MRT system.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on