Sat, Nov 15, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Traffic chaos fails to materialize on mall's opening day

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government's Bureau of Transportation kept a close eye on expected traffic chaos yesterday morning as shoppers flocked to the opening of the Taipei 101 Mall.

The bureau predicts 100,000 people will descend on the mall in its first three weeks of operation to take in the world's tallest building and experience what has been billed as the first world-class shopping mall in Taiwan.

The bureau credited careful planning for the absence of traffic congestion yesterday.

"We are glad to see that traffic conditions have been acceptable so far and fortunately there have been no accidents," said Bureau of Transportation Director Lin Chih-ying (林志盈) yesterday.

Lin was speaking at the bureau's traffic emergency center on the 32nd floor of Taipei 101, which has a bird's eye view of traffic in the vicinity.

"Actually, the period we are most worried about is the upcoming computer exhibition in December, which is expected to bring in twice as many people as the mall's opening," Lin said.

He said that the traffic emergency center will operate until Dec. 7, the closing day of the computer exhibition.

Lin urged shoppers to take the MRT or the bus to get to the mall to avoid congestion.

"It is quite convenient and saves time," he said. "There are nearly 800 buses a day to bring shoppers from the MRT station to the mall."

The free buses running about every four minutes between the Taipei City Hall MRT station and the mall were all full yesterday.

The bureau has strengthened traffic controls and increased patrols of tow-away zones to cope with the mall's opening.

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