By Hsu Yu-shan（許毓珊） Liu Chia-yu （劉家瑜）
After Taoyuan International Airport MRT was commercially launched on March 2nd, the ticket price was 50% off until April 2nd. People now have a new way to travel to the Taoyuan Airport, but what about the currently existing mass transportation? Take buses for example, their business has decreased since the Taoyuan International Airport MRT is offering a 50% discount currently. How about Taxies?
Lai Cheng-hsiang (賴正祥), a marketing director who works in Taiwan Taxi (台灣大車隊) said, “It did not cause us enormous losses when Taoyuan International Airport MRT began trial run on Feb. 2, 2017. With fewer backpackers, there are still many business travelers and family members treaveling together who choose to take taxis because of convenience and safety.”
Lai (賴正祥) said, taxis provide many kinds of service including charter service (包車服務), the appointment of sending off and picking up (寵物專車), and accompanied medical visit (陪同就醫). With diversified services, sending passengers to Taoyuan International Airport is only part of their business.
There are three reasons that people go to the airport; to take planes, to work, and other reasons. “All business is about supply and demand,” said Albert Chun-te Lee (李俊德) , general manager of the Business Department of Taoyuan Airport. “Taiwan is not like Hong Kong. For small families, taxies are still a more convenient and flexible way to go.”
The advantage of taxi is “spot-to-spot service.” Many businessmen and backpackers do not like the “fixed stops” of the MRT. Taxis can run on different routes based on every single tourist’s needs. Chartered service is even cheaper than the Airport MRT ticket fare. He believes that they can get the customers back if they provide better service. People who take the taxis will keep doing so; buses will be influenced more. “But in the long term, I am not worried that International Airport MRT will take taxis’ market share,” said Lee (李俊德).
According to the statistics they offered, after Taoyuan International Airport MRT’s official opening, the number of taxi tours from March 2nd to 10th only decreased by 1%. ”As the market of airport transportation is already saturated, sometimes we need to ask other taxi drivers to help out during peak hours. We sometimes need to call the taxis outside the airport to help carry passengers. Taoyuan International Airport MRT is not harmful for our taxi drivers – it just helps ease the traffic jam on Ground Access Road.” said Lee (李俊德).