Sat, Jul 25, 2009 - Page 8 News List


Asleep at the wheel

Dear Johnny,

So it’s my fault that the Neihu Line is so difficult for disabled passengers and the like. We should wait until all other passengers get on first, and if there’s space left, then those with kids can board. Mr “Sensible Commuter’s” comments make people with children and wheelchairs second-class citizens (Johnny Neihu’s Mailbag, July 18, page 8).

Let me clarify. We didn’t decide to take the MRT that day to “try” it. We had been invited to the Miramar mall for a birthday party. Since we had no problems getting there with the MRT, how could we have imagined what a disaster it would be on the way back?

We had let an earlier train go by that was filled to capacity and only able to accommodate four passengers and a giant wheelchair that was shoved in.

All I was trying to say was that for the passengers that have to use the line at peak hours, it will be a daily inconvenience — because of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) handling of the project.

Last Saturday we took the Neihu Line again, and I was more than happy to see that eight staff had been dispatched to monitor each platform, or a total of 16 — two for each door! So the Taipei City Government eventually fixed a tiny part of a huge problem.

Too bad, though, that Ma and others refuse to take responsibility for this mess, or for the Maokong Gondola debacle. The Control Yuan ought to do something about it, but it’s sleeping at the wheel.

Since becoming a father, I’ve realized that it is harder to decide what is best for children than for an adult. So again, Johnny, I must say it is my fault for having children and that the Neihu Line is so mafan.

Maybe I should just visit a water park like the one you mentioned last week (“Struggling to stay above the pee-line,” July 18, page 8) and see the sad, shitty parts of the city’s outskirts. Then I’ll be able to rejoice at all the goodness the inner city has to offer.



Johnny replies: Look, Harry, if it’s any consolation, I am sure you and Sensible Commuter would get on just fine if you met in the real world.

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