TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taoyuan Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line will reward its 100 millionth passenger with one year of free travel before marking its fifth anniversary next year, reports said Tuesday (Dec. 7).
The line linking Taipei with the country’s main international gateway, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, was launched in March 2017 and is expected to welcome its 100 millionth passenger in mid-December, the Liberty Times reported.
In addition, foreigners aged 65 and older who hold an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) or an Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) will be able to travel at half price for a single ride beginning next year. An estimated 13,000 people will benefit from the change, according to Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦).
The Airport MRT’s camera system is expected to identify the 100 millionth passenger between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18, officials said. The person in question will receive a special commemorative ticket allowing them to travel free for a year, and they can also take part in a drawing for an iPhone 13 if they board an airport MRT train with an electronic ticket within three days of the announcement that they are the 100 millionth passenger.
In 2019, the Airport MRT system registered 130,000 travelers a day, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop to fewer than 3,000 a day. Losses in 2020 totaled NT$738 million (US$26.58 million) and could be even higher this year, Cheng said. He added that the local governments in Taoyuan, New Taipei, and Taipei as well as the Ministry of Transportation would help the company weather difficult times.