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High-speed rail ridership hits monthly record in July

2011/08/01 20:28:52

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) Taiwan's bullet train set a new monthly record for ridership in July, carrying 3.69 million passengers up and down the island's west coast, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) said Monday.

It marked the first time that the number of people using high-speed railway services in a single month exceeded 3.5 million. The previous high was set in April 2011 at 3.48 million.

Ridership in July was 16.8 percent higher than the same month a year earlier and average 119,000 passengers per day.

The railway has served 23.72 million people in the first seven months of the year, an increase of 2.4 million, or 11.3 percent, from the same period last year, THSRC statistics showed.

Company officials said that as of July 31, more than 139.14 million passengers have used the high-speed railway, which started commercial operations in early 2007 and has since replaced air travel as the most popular form of long-distance public transportation in western Taiwan.

Ridership first exceeded 3 million in a single month in February 2010 and has continued to set new milestones since then, surpassing 3.35 million in December 2010 and 3.4 million in February 2011, according to THSRC.

Daily ridership jumped from 43,000 passengers per day in 2007 to 83,000 in 2008, 88,000 in 2009, 101,000 in 2010 and 111,000 in the first seven months of 2011.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Nell Shen)