Taipei-A transportation ministry program that provides subsidies to taxi drivers who plan to buy new vehicles has been so well received that minister Lin Chia-lung (???) pledged on Monday to speed up its roll out.
The program, which started in June, offers subsidies to taxi drivers who drive vehicles that are more than 12 years old, to buy new ones. Currently, 4,080 applications have been approved, compared with a quota of 5,000 vehicles for the first year, Lin said at a ceremony.
As a result, the ministry will raise the quota to 10,000 for 2019, with a new target of 12,000 cars over two years, Lin added.
In addition, the age at which taxis qualify for subsidies will be lowered from 12 to seven years, with priority given to individual taxi drivers.
According to the program, high fuel-efficient vehicles could receive a subsidy of NT$150,000 (US$4,800), with hybrid and electric cars eligible for a NT$250,000 and NT$350,000 subsidy, respectively, he said.
It is hoped the car replacement program will ease the financial burden on taxi drivers and enable them to provide a better service, Lin said.
Tseng Hung-yi (???), secretary-general of a taxi and rental car trade development association, said the sector also aims to provide a full digitized service in the future so passengers can book taxis, check drivers' safety records and make payments online.
It also hopes to work with the government to offer drivers a diverse range of training programs so they can provide transportation services to passengers who are hospital patients, senior citizens or young children, Tseng said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel