The Taipei Times reported that the Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp engaged in some mutual removal of noses to spite faces over the cost of signs in HSR stations….

The Tourism Bureau’s plan to make the high speed rail a selling point was met with nonchalance by the Taiwan High Speed Rail Co (THSRC), as the company has asked the bureau to pay NT$1 million (US$31,250) a year for promotional signboards featuring the nation’s railway tours to be placed within the high speed rail stations.

Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) said yesterday that since the bureau did not have a sufficient budget to pay for the signboards, the bureau would work with the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) instead.

“It [the THSRC] is not tourist-friendly enough,” Lai said, adding that the bureau’s marketing strategy for the moment for the high speed rail was to focus on pre-arranged group tours rather than tours for individuals.

The government’s goal is to get more Japanese tourists here — and the 300 tourist reps from Japan for the Bureau’s project to achieve this are coming free on the nation’s airlines. Meanwhile yet another problem with the HSR is appearing:

The inadequate shuttle bus system around the high speed rail stations also became the target of criticism in the question and answer session in the legislature yesterday.

Legislators from central and southern counties have also complained that the high speed rail had caused domestic airline companies to reduce the number of daily flights.

Since the shuttle buses do not run as frequently as they should, travellers often have to ask family members to pick them up at the high speed rail stations, the legislators said.

I’d like to add that the schedule sucks. As far as I can see, there is no way I can board an HSR train heading south out of Taichung, and land in Tainan in time to make my 9:00 am class. Maybe I’m reading the schedule wrong….

Fortunately, despite the bad news, local writer Dan Bloom informs me that the HSR has done something good. Here’s an email he sent me about the lack of logos or “Taiwan” on the HSR tickets (ordinarily I don’t post attributed private emails, but I think this will be OK).

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Michael
did you know that the orange HSR tickets do not….well, long story short…..
after i noticed the HSR tickets do not have logo or name of issuer on them,, i contacted the CEO of the HSR, Dr Ou, and he said YES HE WILL MAKE CHANGES ASAP…. letter from HSR office today.

three cheers for participatory democracy,…the current HSR tickets do not even say Taiwan high Speed Rail on them,, not even the word TAIWAN anywhere, and no logo. So i complained, gently. got action quickly. DONE DEAL

danny
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Dear Dan Bloom,
After getting your Email I had also reported to Dr.OU , who is the CEO of our company.

Dr. Ou totally agree your suggestion what about the company LOGO on the HSR ticket,
and he immediately instructed marketing department to take action.
ASAP.

Thanks for your concern and please keep in touch.

Best Regards,
TAIWAN HSR

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Several people have written on this problem, I hear. Kudos to Danny for his initiative and success.