Sat, Sep 10, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Government plans to renovate train system nationwide

BY JIMMY CHUANG  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

The government wants to make the nation's railway system as convenient as the MRT system, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

"It is the direction we are taking," he said. "It is necessary for us to have frequent train service, with trains every 10 to 15 minutes, especially during rush hours in metropolitan areas."

Hsieh made the remarks during the opening ceremony for the Chia-pei Station -- a new station for commuters in Minhsiung (民雄) Township, Chiayi County.

Service to grow

Hsieh said that more people will be moving to suburbs or townships around big cities and commuting to their jobs in the city, and that more people will also take a train to work or to school as gas prices continue to soar.

In addition, for places without a MRT system, such as Chiayi City, more frequent train services will help spark urban development in metropolitan regions because more traffic between a city and nearby townships also means more business and job opportunities, he said.

"The completion of this new station is a sign that Chiayi people are ready for the future," he said.

Chiayi's plans

Chiayi Mayor Chen Li-chen (陳麗貞) said that the station is the first step in the city's efforts to cooperate with the government on providing more frequent train services and making trains as convenient as an MRT.

She said there will be more construction work in the city as it pursues this policy. The next move will be to elevate rail lines, she said. The city government is also planning to build a new bus terminal that will be able to host all long-distance buses that serve the city.

"Our plan is to make Chiayi a major transportion terminal in southern Taiwan," she said.

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