Initial intercity bus fares announced for Taipei-Hualien travel
Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Major local intercity bus operators on Tuesday announced ticket prices for travel between Greater Taipei and Hualien in eastern Taiwan, in anticipation of the completion of the Suhua Highway improvement project.
Currently, there is no direct bus service between the two cities, but the improved road will make bus travel possible again.
UBus said its new service between Nangang and Hualien will cost NT$320 (US$10.5) per person per trip, with a one month promotional fare of NT$210 when the road opens in early January.
The company said it will also provide an off-peak travel price of NT$290 (though off peaks times were not given) and a children's fare of NT$210.
Taipei Bus said its fare between the two destinations will be NT$323, while Capital Bus said its service between Banqiao and Hualien could cost NT$350.
The bus services are expected to meet the travel needs of residents in the eastern part of the country before the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on Jan. 24 next year.
The 38.8-km road building project covers three sections along Taiwan's rugged east coast -- from Su'ao to Dong'ao in Yilan County, from Nan'ao in Yilan to Heping in Hualien County, and from Hezhong to Daqingshui in Hualien.
The original highway, the main artery connecting Yilan and Hualien counties, was a narrow, winding road high above the Pacific Ocean highly vulnerable to landslides.
The need for an upgrade gained urgency in 2010 after Typhoon Megi triggered landslides that killed 26 people, including 19 tourists from China. （By Yu Hsiao-han and Lee Hsin-Yin）
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