Kaohsiung offers homeowners free ticket to ride
Kaohsiung is set to become the first municipality in Taiwan to offer residents free public transport for up to 25 years if they purchase property in approved developments.
The initiative, which is being undertaken by Kaohsiung City Government, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp. and selected real estate developers, aims to spur housing sales in areas near KRTC lines and bolster the southern port city’s low carbon credentials.
Hwang Wang-hsiang, deputy minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, said March 19 that the program combines the best elements of urban planning and public transportation planning to deliver sustainable development.
“We will be monitoring the success of this initiative closely and are already in talks with Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. to launch a similar program in the capital,” he said.
Under the initiative, expected to kick off in the first half of the year, investors will receive transit cards permitting conditional free travel on KRTC lines for between 10 and 25 years. The CEPD estimates savings for users at NT$200,000 (US$6,667) during this period.
According to a KRTC official, value can be added to the cards enabling their use on Taiwan Railways Administration’s services and for small purchases in convenience stores.
“We plan to expand the card network by teaming up with businesses offering in-demand products and services,” the official said.
Although the lineup of developers involved in the project is yet to be finalized, sources familiar with the matter believe it includes Cathay Real Estate, Fu Mao Building Group and Kings Group.
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