Taipei MRT monthly ticket faces possible cancellation

Taiwanese legislators freeze 2020 budget, call NT$1,280 pass ineffective

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Taipei MRT unlimited monthly pass could become history. (Wikimedia photo)

Taipei MRT unlimited monthly pass could become history. (Wikimedia photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Legislative Yuan froze the 2020 budget for the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) monthly pass Monday (Nov. 25), saying that it did not boost passenger numbers.

In April 2018, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and then-New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) announced that their cities would begin offering monthly tickets allowing unlimited rides on the MRT, city buses, and YouBikes for a 30-day period. The price for a monthly pass is NT$1,280 (US$44).

During the budget review at the Taipei City Council on Monday, however, legislators pointed out that it costs the Taiwanese government NT$1 billion yearly to maintain the unlimited pass but that the total number of passengers had only increased by 3 percent since last year. The lawmakers questioned the effectiveness of the program and said that it had failed to bring economic benefits to the cities, reported Liberty Times.

Ko stated that the NT$1,280 price tag for the monthly ticket was a good start and that the Taipei government would deliberate on how to minimize the cost. He added that the price could be lowered to further motivate the public to take public transportation, reported ETtoday.