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High speed rail helps keep couples together: survey

2010/07/23 20:29:56

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Maintaining relations with far-awaysweethearts has been easier since the inauguration of the high speedrail in 2007, a survey released on Friday said.

Of those polled, 17.3 percent said the rail system's conveniencehad saved romantic relationships for themselves, their friends orrelatives.

The Japanese-built train runs 345 kilometers from Taipei innorthern Taiwan to southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung in 90 minutes,compared to four and a half hours for conventional trains.

The survey of 1,601 people in 22 cities and counties in Taiwanfound that 82.9 percent of respondents said the rail system hasincreased the speed of travel in Taiwan, while 67.2 percent said theyare willing to travel further because of the train.

Some 60.8 percent said they are more willing to visit friends and22.5 percent said they are willing to work outside their hometowns,said the poll, which was commissioned by the Taiwan High Speed RailCorp. (THSRC).

Respondents said reading books or newspapers was the most commonactivity while traveling, followed by taking naps, appreciating thescenery, chatting with friends and listening to music.

People's most common complaint about traveling on the system waspassengers who talk loudly, followed by small children who fidget andmake noise, passengers continuously talking over cell phones, and foodsthat emit strong odors.

Meanwhile, the THSRC announced Friday that it will soon honor its100 millionth passenger.

THSRC Chairman Ou Chin-der said that since the rail system waslaunched in Jan. 5, 2007, the number of passengers has grown rapidlyto 98,815,727 trips by July 2, 2010.

Ou said the 100 millionth passenger will obtain a ticket to usethe service unlimited for one year. The winner will not, however, beallowed to reserve seats.

The passengers immediately before and after the 100 millionth willreceive tickets allowing unlimited travel for one month.

(By Wang Shu-feng and Lilian Wu)