Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) Ticket prices for Taiwan's high-speed rail service will drop by roughly 10 percent from Dec. 1, and passengers will be able to start booking them online from Nov. 4, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) said Thursday.
The fare for a one-way trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung will fall to NT$1,490 (US$45) from the current NT$1,630, the company said.
The price drop is part of a company financial reform program aimed at saving it from potential bankruptcy when the system's BOT (build, operate, transfer) era comes to an end.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the THSRC agreed earlier this year to terminate the original BOT contract that the debt-ridden private company was working under to build and operate Taiwan's only high-speed rail line.
The deal means that the government will become THSRC's majority shareholder, although the company will be privately managed.
In addition to the price cut, three new Taiwan high-speed stations -- in Miaoli, Changhua and Yunlin -- will open Dec. 1, bringing the total number of stations to 11 on the 339-kilometer railway.
Tickets from Taipei to Miaoli, Changhua and Yunlin will be NT$430, NT$820 and NT$930, respectively, while the total number of train services will increase to 964 from 954 per week, according to the company.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/J