Mon, May 24, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Traffic chaos expected in Xinyi

HERE WE GO AGAINTaipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei said the city government had failed to learn its lesson from when Taipei Bus Station near Taipei Main Station was opened

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) could see serious traffic congestion when a bus station next to MRT Taipei City Hall Station opens in July, a city official said.

The bus station, which is located at the intersection of Keelung Road and Zhongxiao E Road, could have more than 250 buses entering or exiting the terminal during rush hour, increasing traffic on the district’s already busy streets.

Taipei City Government’s Department of Transportation Commissioner Luo Shiaw-shyan (羅孝賢) acknowledged that the opening of the bus station would cause traffic congestion in the area and Luo has proposed several measures to tackle the problem.

The department opened Lane 20, Sect 5 of Zhongxiao E Road to two-way traffic last week to ease congestion and it will adjust the route of several buses that pass the intersection of Keelung Road and Zhongxiao E Road.

Kuo Tsung-sheng (郭宗生), a division chief at the department, said the bus station will serve as a transportation hub for commuter buses running to Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Yilan.

“This bus station is smaller than the one at Taipei Main Station, with fewer buses traveling shorter distances, and so it should have less impact on the traffic,” Kuo said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅), however, said the city government failed to learn its lesson from when the Taipei Bus Station near Taipei Main Station was opened, as the bus station in Xinyi suffers from the same problems of a lack of space and inconvenient location.

Taipei Bus Station, located at the intersection of Chengde Road and Huayin Street, opened in August last year amid concerns about the heavy traffic congestion it created. Councilors also accused the city government of allowing the operator to make excess profits, as the bus terminal and waiting area only occupied 9.4 percent of the 24-story building, which features a shopping mall, movie theater and hotel.

The new bus station in Xinyi District is similar, with the bus terminal and waiting area occupying just 2,400 ping (7,934m²) of the 43,000 ping building. The 31-story building also features a shopping mall and hotel.

“The city government is compromising to big business again. Most of the space is not used for transportation and transit services. The same problems, including heavy traffic jams and insufficient room for passengers, will happen again,” she said.

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