《TAIPEI TIMES》 Ministry grants fuel fee waiver
By Shelley Shan / Staff Reporter
The fuel usage fee for tour bus and car rental service operators is to be reduced, or in some cases waived, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
The policy, to take effect in the third quarter, is part of the government’s stimulus measures for the transportation sector, it said.
Tour bus operators would only pay 50 percent of the fee if they have a vehicle dispatch rate of 70 percent or more, while the entire charge would be waived for companies whose vehicle dispatch rate is below 70 percent, it said.
Operators would on average save NT$4,000 to NT$10,000 per tour bus, the ministry said.
Car rental operators, which generally have a long-term clientele, would be charged half the fuel usage fee, which would save them NT$1,200 to NT$1,800 per vehicle, it said.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet has followed a suggestion from Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai （王國材） to extend a subsidy on disease prevention materials for taxi drivers from May 31 until the end of the year.
“Considering that the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan has plateaued, and that taxi drivers must share their vehicle with random passengers daily, the ministry will increase the one-time subsidy for taxi drivers to NT$5,000 per vehicle to support their work in disinfecting the vehicles and containing the spread of the virus,” the ministry said, adding that the Directorate-General of Highways is to begin distributing the subsidy next month.
Taxi drivers were supposed to receive a one-time subsidy of NT$2,730 to cover the expenses for disease prevention materials from this month until December, but an additional NT$2,270 was offered in view of their need to disinfect their vehicles more frequently amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 cases, the ministry said.
The funding for the subsidy would come from the ministry’s COVID-19 prevention budget, it said.
The ministry said it has been seeking funding and other measures to help affected travel agencies, taxi drivers, tour bus operators and car rental companies cope with the pandemic.
“We will help each industry prepare for recovery, so they can quickly resume normal operations after the pandemic eases,” it said.