Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei Bus Station opens amid fears of heavy traffic

NEW HUB ON THE BLOCK Some complained about poor signage, which made finding the bus station a little difficult, but the dreaded traffic jams did not materialize

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Drivers sit in a traffic jam on Civic Boulevard during rush hour yesterday. Taipei Bus Station, the city’s biggest bus terminal, opened yesterday amid concerns that increased traffic would exacerbate congestion on Huayin Street, Chengde Road and Civic Boulevard.

PHOTO: HUNG MIN-LUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The new Taipei Bus Station, the biggest bus terminal in the city, opened yesterday amid concerns that increased traffic would exacerbate congestion on Huayin Street, Chengde Road and Civic Boulevard.

The station, located at the intersection of Chengde Road and Huayin Street, will serve as the main transportation hub for 10 bus companies running 39 routes to Ilan County and cities, as well as counties south of Hsinchu.

Five other bus companies providing 10 routes to Taoyuan County and cities and counties north of Taoyuan will continue to use the old bus station on Chongqing N Road.

No serious traffic jams were reported around the station yesterday.

Liang Heng-de (梁恒德), assistant director of the Department of Transportation’s public transportation office, said the department and all bus companies had held a trial run during the past two months, which accounted for the smooth launch of operations.

The Traffic Police Division dispatched about 40 traffic police to the area to prevent traffic jams.

Most passengers taking buses at the station yesterday welcomed the comfortable environment of the new station, but complained about unclear signs.

“It took us a while to find the entrance to the station and we had to walk a long way from Taipei Main Station to take a bus here. It is quite inconvenient,” a female passenger surnamed Lin said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅) expressed her concerns about serious traffic congestion around the station during weekends and rush hour, as several hundred buses would be entering and exiting the station every day, increasing traffic on the already crowded Chengde Road and Civic Boulevard.

Commissioner of the transportation department Luo Shiaw-shyan (羅孝賢) said the city would enforce overpass entrance controls on Civic Boulevard and other measures to avoid problems.

The bus station has 30 ticketing counters on the first floor and 32 platforms on the second, third and fourth floors. The 24-story building also features a shopping area, movie theater and hotel, which are scheduled to open next month.

To celebrate the opening of the station, the underground parking lot on Civil Boulevard will be free for scooters until Sept. 10.

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