Tue, Oct 02, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Hsinchu needs mass transit

If the government wants to recruit skilled high-tech professionals to work in the science parks at Hsinchu and Tainan, it should upgrade the infrastructure of those two cities.

The Greater Hsinchu Region, for instance, desperately needs a mass rapid transit system in the form of light rail or a monorail. Every day there are massive traffic jams around the Hsinchu Science Park, and the few bridges that connect Hsinchu with the neighboring suburban city of Jhubei (竹北) are clogged with vehicles.

Hsinchu has only one true high-frequency bus route, which serves the city's main street, Guangfu Road. Additionally, Guangfu Road is extremely pedestrian unfriendly: Major portions of the road have no sidewalks, leaving pedestrians to fend for themselves against the high-density traffic. Residents are forced to use scooters as the most preferable means to navigate the city, contributing to undesirable carbon emissions.

While the High Speed Rail Hsinchu Station in Jhubei does have connecting buses, in many cases the time it takes for those buses to reach important areas of Hsinchu City actually defeats the purpose of taking the high-speed rail. It is faster to take a freeway bus from Taipei to important areas of Hsinchu than it is to take the high-speed rail and then transfer to a connecting bus.

Some may argue that it is too late to enhance Hsinchu's transportation infrastructure because of the high density of developed commercial and residential areas; however, further procrastination will only make the situation worse.

Allen Chang


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