TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — There will be no Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train services on May 1 due to union action, prompting the Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MOTC) to say Friday (April 22) it would arrange buses and high-speed trains for an estimated 358,000 travelers.
The Taiwan Railway Labor Union (TRLU) asked its workers to reject overtime and to take leave May 1 in protest against a TRA corporatization plan submitted to the Legislative Yuan by Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材). The union said the reform package had not won its approval and would not solve safety problems.
The high-speed rail system would be able to add 90,000 extra seats to its usual 160,000, while long-distance buses would add capacity for 136,000 passengers to its normal seating for 95,000 travelers, CNA reported. Bus services along the east coast would be able to supply seats for 82,000 passengers on May 1.
The MOTC added that bus services would be organized to replace trains on short but popular tourist itineraries serving places like Jiji in Nantou County, Neiwan in Hsinchu County, and Pingxi in New Taipei City.
Detailed information about the new services will be provided on the TRA website from April 27 at noon, the report said. Passengers holding TRA tickets for the April 30-May 2 period would be able to cancel them free of charge within a year, according to the MOTC.
The union said it was also considering similar actions on other holidays, including the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Double Ten National Holiday.