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Pandemic Relief for Bus Transit Operators - Trilogy of "Relief, Stimulation and Reviving"

Impacted by the COVID-19, the bus transit operations in Taiwan were heavily hit. At the end of May, Taichung bus transit operations were at their lowest point. To assist bus transit operators to respond to the challenge, the Taichung City Transportation Bureau launched the relief program right after the pandemic outbreak by continuously providing the amount of NT$400 million. At present, pandemic restrictions have been eased and bus transit demands were gradually increased; the Taichung City Government now proposed the stimulation program by rewarding bus transit operators with more bus services. Additionally, according to the pandemic situation and actual bus transit operations, relevant incentive packages were studied to help bus transit operators to revive. Director General of the Transportation Bureau, Yeh Chao-Fu, pointed out that bus transit operators in Taichung experienced a steep decrease in the passenger number caused by the COVID-19 and by the end of May, it accounted for only 15% of that before the pandemic. To guarantee passengers’ rights, the Bureau negotiated with bus transit operators should provide about 80% of the bus services. Decreased passenger numbers, however, resulted in huge financial losses and fuel costs for providing daily bus services became a huge burden on the bus transit operators and drivers’ income was also impacted. To thank bus transit operators for their efforts to provide constant services and to coordinate with pandemic prevention and control measures of the Taichung City Government, the Bureau released the relief program by gradually allocating the amount of NT$400 million to aid employees of Taichung bus transit operators and satisfy the public demands for mass transportation. According to Director General Yeh, the Taichung City Government negotiated with bus transit operators to provide 80% of the original bus services during the pandemic alert and at the same time, requested them to increase disinfection frequencies. In addition to regular disinfection of equipment that is constantly contacted by passengers such as bus stopping bells, handrails, straps and ticketing machines, each day after final services, floors and seats inside the buses were sanitized daily. During the pandemic alert, real-name registration of bus passengers was also required to ensure riding safety. Bus transit operators insisted on doing their jobs after many pandemic prevention and control tasks were required and provided stable bus services as required. The Bureau would like to thank very much for the support of bus transit operators and unlike before, the certain rate of delay will result in heavier penalties, this time flexibilities were given to bus transit operators. They were given incentives to encourage the maintenance of certain rate of bus services for continuous punctual rate. Director General Yeh said that although the COVID-19 seriously impacted the life of Taichung citizens but along with the eased situation, passenger numbers have been gradually increasing. The Bureau arranged bus drivers to be vaccinated to ensure their work safety and through incentive measures, they were encouraged to provide stable driving services to attract more riders. At present, the Taichung City Government practically reviews bus services with a roll planning method according to ridership of each bus route and in the future, the pandemic situation in the second half of the year and actual operations of bus transit operators will be considered to continuously apply for compensation allowance to aid them to recover from the pandemic and provide better mass transportation services.
  • Data update: 2021-08-17
  • Publish Date: 2021-08-12
  • Source: Transportation Bureau
  • Hit Count: 19