Keelung residents rally for Nangang-Keelung MRT line 基隆爭捷運 千人健走到南港

Mon, Jan 27, 2014 - Page 11

In an effort to revive plans to extend Taipei’s MRT Bannan Line to Keelung, the Taiwan City Competitiveness and Development Association held its “I love Keelung, I want a Nangang-Keelung MRT line” walkathon on Jan. 18, which started at Keelung’s Cidu Train Station with around a thousand people winding their way around the city until they eventually arrived at Taipei’s Nangang Train Station around noon.

The event started at Cidu Train Station and ended at Nangang Train Station, which is approximately a 14km walk. Although temperatures never reached 15 degrees Celsius, participants were undeterred and tried their best to show their determination, but for some people the walk was too strenuous and the organizer had prepared shuttle buses to transport people who could not make the walk.

Association president Lin Yu-chang and Democratic Progressive Party Keelung city councilors Shih Shih-ming and Hung Sen-yung were at the front of the team. Lin, who is running for mayor in Keelung, says that with 80,000 to 90,000 people commuting from Keelung to Taipei for work and school every day, Keelung is an indispensable part of Taipei’s metro rail network. Whether it is from the viewpoint of national infrastructure or promoting northern Taiwan’s development, linking Keelung with the MRT is a responsibility and mission that the government cannot evade.

In response to the event, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang, communicating through spokesperson Hsieh Yi-pin, says that a very cautious discussion and evaluation is needed with regard to extending the MRT to Keelung, and that it also needs to take into account opinions from all parties before a plan that best benefits Keelung can be made.

Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems Commissioner Tsai Hui-sheng says that currently there are no plans to extend the Bannan Line to Keelung. Personnel from Taipei’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems say that there is not any space available to extend the Bannan Line from Nangang Station and that it is unlikely that extending the line to Keelung would ever be considered.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

台灣城市競爭力發展協會舉辦「我愛基隆、我要捷運南港基隆線」健走活動,一月十八日從基隆市七堵火車站出發,一千多人蜿蜒成人龍,中午陸續抵達台北市南港火車站,爭取恢復規劃捷運板南線延伸到基隆。

活動從七堵火車站出發往南港火車站,全程約十四公里,雖然氣溫不到十五度,民眾熱情不減,希望展現意志,但是對部分民眾仍顯吃力,主辦單位準備接駁車沿途運送走不動的民眾。

協會理事長林右昌及民進黨基隆市議員施世明、洪森永等人走在隊伍最前頭,有意參選基隆市長的林右昌表示,每天有八、九萬基隆市民到台北市上班或上學,基隆是大台北都會捷運網不可或缺的一部分,不管就國土規劃或是繁榮北部區域發展的角度,捷運到基隆都是政府無可迴避的責任和使命。

針對此事,國民黨立委謝國樑透過發言人謝宜斌轉達看法,認為捷運延伸至基隆須經過非常審慎的討論及評估,也須凝聚各方意見,方能做出最有利於基隆的方案。

台北市捷運局局長蔡輝昇表示,目前並沒有延伸板南線到基隆的規劃;另外,台北捷運工程局人員也透露,捷運板南線在南港端「已無延伸空間」,不太可能再推動延伸到基隆。

(自由時報記者俞肇福、吳亮儀)