Taoyuan Airport MRT’s Weekend Ridership Reaches 60,000

By  Chan Meng-hin(陳明憲)Chen Ching-wen(陳靖文)

Taoyuan Metro Corporation officially launched the Taoyuan Airport MRT (Metro Rapid Transit)service on 2 March. According to the data provided by Hank Lee(李漢民), officer of Operations Division Department of  Taoyuan Metro Corporation, the weekday and weekend riderships have reached 50,000 and 60,000 respectively, and the numbers are still increasing. The peak hours are 9-12 am and 2-5 pm. For the first month, Taoyuan Metro Corporation offers a 50% discount on the ticket price, which is NT$80 for a single journey from Taipei main station(A1)to Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1 and 2 (A12 and A13). Will customers leave when it stops the discount offer?

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Passengers are taking the escalator to the train platform. Photo/ Chan Meng-hin(陳明憲)

Hank Lee said the strengths of Taoyuan Airport MRT are fast, convenient and reasonable price. Compared with other competitors, Taoyuan Airport MRT is free from traffic congestion, which makes it more competitive. Passenger Lee said that he used to take public transport to the airport, and after his first experience of taking a Taoyuan Airport MRT train, he said he will ride again as it is so convenient and time-saving. Another passenger Chang (張)complained the route signs from the airport to the metro station is so vague that he can hardly find the way. Despite of the poor route signs, he thinks the price is cheap, even at full price.

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Taoyuan Metro Corporation offers a 50% discount on the ticket price for the first month. Photo/ Chan Meng-hin(陳明憲)

 

Passengers are carrying their suitcases to pass the ticket machine. Photo/ Chan, Meng-hin(陳明憲)
Passengers are carrying their suitcases to pass the ticket machine. Photo/ Chan Meng-hin(陳明憲)

Hank Lee responded that Taoyuan Metro Corporation has already worked on this problem by setting up more signs at different spots. Concerning the safety problem, Hank Lee said," The company values and prioritizes passengers’ safety."At the time being, as there is no warning alarms for closing doors, the company has arranged more guards to blow whistle to remind passengers. "Except for the doors alarms, the company has performed pretty well on safety measures,"said Hank Lee. He also brought up people’s complaints like," Taoyuan Airport MRT is not passing through Taoyuan City center."This is also what the Taoyuan Metro Corporation is working on right now.

The Taoyuan Airport MRT offers a couple of trains: Commuter Trains and Express Trains. The latter offers only 4 stops and is especially provided for passengers who want to get to the airport directly. The time interval for each train is 7 minutes and the two types of trains will come alternately. Other than that, Taoyuan Metro Corporation cooperate with airline companies to provide in-town check-in service, even for those who are not taking the Taoyuan Airport MRT, by setting up check-in counter at Taipei Station. For the time being, four airlines are offering such a check-in service: China Airlines, Mandarin Airline, EVA Air and UNI Air.

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The officers are standing by to assist people for the self-service check-in. Photo/ Chan Meng-hin(陳明憲)

Meanwhile, Hank Lee said the company is launching discounts for commuters and groups on different basis, such as monthly ticket for 30% and seasonal ticket for 40% off the price, which passengers can use after the first month. The company also publishes 5000 sets of souvenir ticket, which is designed by Easycard Corporation, to mark the establishment of the new line.

For now, passengers highly appreciate the convenience provided by Taoyuan Metro Corporation. What measures does Taoyuan Metro Corporation take to be more competitive and keep its customers will be a crucial question.