Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) Fares on the 340-kilometer Taiwan High Speed Rail will rise as planned on Tuesday, the company announced Sunday, despite calls from some lawmakers for a postponement. Ticket prices will increase by an average of 9.69 percent, with a round-trip ticket between Taipei and Zuoying in Kaohsiung going up from NT$2,980 (US$102) to NT$3,260 -- an increase of NT$280, or 9.4 percent. As part of the adjustments, the company will more than double the seats available for "early bird" discounts to 260,000 per week. Rail operators will take into account the views and expectations of all quarters of society, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. said in a statement. They also announced a new preferential program under which passengers aged 60-64 can get a 25 percent discount on specified trains through next March, the company said. Passengers aged 65 and older can continue to pay half price for their rides.
Some lawmakers called on Taiwan High Speed Rail to postpone the planned increases last week in order to lower the impact on the general public in a month which has already seen the rise in the cost of electricity. (By Wang Shu-fen and Jay Chen)