Following the closure of Aloha Transport, Solar Bus also submitted its notice to the authorities, saying it will end four high-way routes next February. Many long-time passengers said it's a pity.
Solar Bus, which has been providing its highway bus service in the Yunlin area for nearly 25 years, informed the Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office at the end of October this year, that it will end four routes from Douliu, Beigang, Sihu, and Minsyong to Taipei on February 4 2022. Many people in Yunlin said it's a pity.
Yunlin Resident: “If they stop, we have to go back to Sihu because there is no train. It's like there will be no more public transportation so it would be very inconvenient.”
Yunlin Resident: “If you discontinue one route, their northern destination seems to be concentrated near Sanchong and Banqiao. But Ubus is set up on the other side.”
Lin I-feng, Chairperson, Solar Bus Company: “This is not a financial problem. We have good credit. I can't understand why you don't give a positive response when operators such as us come up with such a good plan? Public transportation in rural areas should be more evenly distributed.”
Solar Bus is considered a regional operator. At stake are the rights of Yunlin and Chiayi passengers, especially the elderly. However, Solar Bus stated that to improve passenger experience, the company plans to purchase new buses. Although its investment application has been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the bank has agreed to the loan, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications' regulations state the company can only implement its plan on a trial basis. Thus, Solar Bus simply gave up four routes. The Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office said it will continue talks with the company.
Huang Ming-sheng, Deputy Director, Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office: “We as a government institution will try our best to assist each company and their needs. We never said we would not help. This is because they want to buy new vehicles as part of the investment. We continue to communicate with them.”
Chiayi Motor Vehicles Office stated that Solar Bus' operation is stable and it will continue discussions with the company. If Solar Bus no longer operates the routes next year, the motor vehicles office will initiate its backup plan to have other operators take over the routes so there are no interruptions to rural public transport.