By Lam Tsz-ching (林梓晴) , Chuang Li-cheng (莊立誠)
Since Taoyuan Metro has launched commercial service on March 2nd, people are given one more way to get from Taipei to Taoyuan international airport. “It has created a huge impact on us after the (Taoyuan) Metro was opened,” said Wang Rong-guang(王榮光) , an associate in CitiAir Bus(大有巴士), estimating that his company’s bus traffic has tumbled 40-50 percent as people choose to take new Metro instead of taking bus to Taoyuan International Airport.
Taoyuan Metro offers a fare discount from March 2nd to April 1st, now costing NT$80 from Taipei Main Station to Airport Terminal in 30-odd minutes. After stopping the 50% discount, the fare returns to NT$160. Wang discloses that they are staying on the sidelines because of the uncertainty over the consequence of canceling the discount. “There are no gains to have a price war with Metro at this moment. No one can survive a price war.”
Wang said, the advantage of taking bus is that the station is just near your home, not only reducing the time to get to Taipei Main Station first, but also costing less in ticket price. Buses cover a bigger area and passengers can depart directly without wasting time for transfer at Taipei Main Station.
“From now on, I hope that the public transportation market of getting to Taoyuan international Airport could be expanded, with the Metro coming in,” Wang said. There are several ways of reaching Taoyuan airport terminal. “(Taoyuan) Metro may absorb the passengers who take taxis or drive their own cars to the airport. Therefore, the whole public transportation system would get bigger.”
Taoyuan Metro announces that the average daily traffic has been 66,000 since Metro was opened on March 2nd. “Taoyuan Metro is more user-friendly to foreign tourists and there are clear instructions,” Wang(王榮光) added. “Like students, business men or tourists are still their target customers.” Chang Chia-chen (張嘉真), living in Taishan(泰山), said she would take Metro if she goes to the airport since the bus station is far from her home and is too inconvenient.
Another passenger, Lu Juain-fu (盧建甫), a student who lives in Linkou(林口), has taken Metro twice last month and he thought it’s too expensive for him. Normally he would go to Taipei main station by bus unless he gets limited time as it takes the same time traveling by bus or by Metro commuter train.