Wed, Dec 24, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Motorcycle parking fees to be enforced in Taipei

NO LONGER FREE The new policy will be implemented in July to cut down on traffic congestion, but some motorcyclists say the city just wants to make money

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Motorcyclists will be charged for parking in certain designated districts from July, Taipei City Government officials announced yesterday.

The city's Bureau of Transportation Director Lin Chih-ying (林志盈) announced the policy at a weekly municipal meeting and said the charge will be NT$10 per hour or NT$20 per day. The bureau will also sell monthly tickets.

Motorcyclists who park in the designated areas without paying will be fined, although penalties have yet to be determined, Lin said.

The bureau has commissioned a research panel to identify appropriate areas in Taipei where the policy can be put into practice.

When the policy takes effect in July, it will initially not be implemented citywide.

"Business and shopping districts will be our preferred trial areas, since these are the districts with the most traffic," Lin said, adding that Xinyi will probably be one of the districts that will charge motorcyclists.

Peripheral areas around college campuses and walkways in front of stores will initially not be affected.

Lin said the bureau has allocated four parking areas in Neihu (內湖), Nankang (南港), Ximending (西門町) and near the city hall to motorcycles.

"We want to encourage citizens to take advantage of the MRT system as an alternative to their own means of transportation in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion," Lin said.

"We also want to improve the management of motorcycles, of which there are now more than one million in Taipei City," he said.

But some motorcyclists have said that the city government just wants to take advantage of motorcyclists to help ease its financial problems.

"Most motorcyclists are people who cannot afford a car. They are an economic minority group compared with the car drivers, but the city government does not seem to be considering this point," said a student surnamed Cheng () of National Taiwan University, who rides a motorcycle himself.

"I pay NT$50 a week for fuel for my scooter, but now I will have to pay the same amount for an afternoon's parking," Cheng said, adding that it will be a burden to students like him.

"I think the city government should do a survey of public opinion first," he said.

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