TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Long-distance bus operator Aloha Transport announced its closure on Wednesday (Dec. 1), citing operating losses as a result of fewer travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestic travel is more difficult and less frequent under the various anti-epidemic restrictions in place and people's fear of spreading the virus to their families. In July, the financially strained bus company cut its routes down to two for the whole country.
The remaining routes — Taipei to Kaohsiung and Taipei to Chiayi — will officially stop on Dec. 13, according to an Aloha statement. A shareholder's meeting is scheduled for Friday (Dec. 3) to discuss severance pay and compensation for the company's 118 drivers, media reported.
Founded in 1999 and based in Kaohsiung, the bus carrier offered the country's first pet-friendly buses. It was nicknamed the "fastest bus" in the country for its consistently speedy performance, comparable to that of a Tze-Chiang express train (自強號).
United Bus (UBus) and Kuo-Kuang Bus are the remaining two intercity bus carriers that serve the Kaohsiung-Taipei and Chiayi-Taipei routes. Those who have booked an Aloha ticket after Dec. 12 can rebook their trip with either of those two operators.