TRA holds drill to prepare for Labor Day service halt due to strike
Taipei, April 25 (CNA) A drill involving the use of tour buses on east coast routes served by Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) trains was held Monday at Hualien Train Station as part of a contingency plan to tackle an upcoming strike by TRA employees on Labor Day on May 1.
The drill simulated a scenario in which passengers who found there were no TRA train services available at Hualien station sought help from the service counter and then shifted to taking extra highway buses and tour buses arranged by the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) by using e-tickets.
TRA Chief Secretary Chen Yu-mou (陳裕謀) told reporters that TRA had coordinated with DGH's Hualien Motor Vehicle Office to provide extra bus services, which are called "quasi-trains," on the non-stop route between Hualien and Taitung train stations, and another route between the two stations with 10 stops including Ji'an, Shoufeng, Fenglin, Guangfu, Ruisui, Yuli, and Fuli in Hualien County as well as Chishang, Guanshan, and Luye in Taitung County.
TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) on Sunday confirmed that the administration's railway services will be suspended across Taiwan on May 1, due to a strike by members of the Taiwan Railway Labor Union to try to get the government to recall a draft bill to corporatize the TRA, currently a government agency under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
TRA's booking system for tickets for train services on May 1 has been suspended and about 10,000 of some 17,000 tickets purchased for trains that day have been refunded, according to Chen.
According to TRA estimates, around 10,000 people are expected to take "quasi-trains" on the east coast of Taiwan that day.
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