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Pay rise for Taichung public bus drivers during staff shortage

Extra NT$4,000 per month for drivers in central Taiwan city

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An electric bus passes an intersection in Taichung. (Taichung Bus photo)

An electric bus passes an intersection in Taichung. (Taichung Bus photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taichung’s public transport operator will raise its bus drivers’ wages by NT$4,000 (about US$127) per month following staff shortages and a recent strike.

Leaders of the city’s transportation and labor bureaus joined Taichung Bus Director Li Po-wen (李博文) and labor representatives to announce the increase on Thursday (Nov. 23), per CNA. Starting this month, the minimum salary a Taichung Bus driver will earn is NT$41,000 per month, a representative said.

Taichung City’s transport director Yeh Chao-fu (葉昭甫) said that bus drivers are Taichung Bus’ most important asset and the salary increase will protect the public’s right to ride. Yeh said that as the city government increases drivers’ wages, other transportation operators are likely to follow suit.

Yeh said that some routes have also been shortened to improve working conditions for drivers. In addition, longer routes have been adjusted to pass through the network’s bus exchange, so drivers can access rest and hygiene facilities.

On Tuesday, Taiwan reported its lowest unemployment rate in 28 years, with 14,000 new hires in the service sector in October.