Taipei-Kaohsiung City is rolling out a three-month free public transportation program on Dec. 1 to combat the heavy air pollution that usually plagues the city at this time of year.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (??) announced the city government's plan to make public transportation in the city free to all e-ticket users.
The program, which comes from Kaohsiung's Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB), allows those who possess an e-ticket, including iPASS, to take city buses, highway buses and the light rail trains for free.
People with an e-ticket who take the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains can ride free of charge on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to help them commute to and from work or school.
According to Chen, air pollution is particularly severe from December to February in Kaohsiung, which is why the city government is encouraging people to use public transport.
EPB Director Tsai Meng-yu (???) said that this is the first program of its kind in Taiwan, noting that it will cost about NT$200 million.
Tsai estimates that the program will increase the number of passengers by 1.76 million on city buses, 70,000 on highway buses and 1.6 million on the MRT, thereby decreasing the emissions of carbon dioxide by 16,000 tons.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel