Taipei, May 19 (CNA) A nighttime ferry service between southern China and two Taiwan islands will be launched on a trial basisin June, in response to rising demand, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Saturday.
Starting June 17, the last departure time for the ferry service from Kinmen and Matsu to China's Fujian Province will be extendedfrom 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the ministry said.
If the trial period is successful, the service will be prolonged to 9 p.m., the ministry added
The extended service is aimed at meeting rising demand among travelers on the route, according to the ministry.
Last year, ferry ridership between three Fujian ports and the two Taiwan-controlled islands rose to 1.46 million, a record high since the service was launched in 2001.
The ferry service currently offers 21 trips per day between Kinmen and Matsu islands and Fujian's Xiamen, Mawei and Quanzhou.
The MOTC said additional safety measures and emergency response preparations have been put in place for the nighttime trips.
The Kinmen government is planning a series of promotional events to bring more travelers to the island when the nighttime service begins.
(By Wang Shu-fen and Scully Hsiao)