The Taipei City Government could spend even more money on the MRT’s problem-plagued Wenshan-Neihu Line amid growing complaints from passengers about the poor design of the carriages’ slippery seats, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilor said yesterday.
Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) said replacing the seats could cost the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) more than NT$280 million (US$8 million).
“We warned the city government and TRTC about the poor design of the seats, but they did not listen. Now they are wasting taxpayers’ money replacing them. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
TRTC did away with the old seats used on the Muzha Line when the Neihu section opened, saying the protruding middle sections of the new seats prevented passengers from having to sit shoulder-to-shoulder and offered a more comfortable environment.
However, many passengers have complained that the new seat designs drastically cut seating space.
TRTC chairman Chen Chun-liang (陳椿亮) acknowledged that the company was in discussions to replace the seats, but said it would use its “reconstruction fund” — which draws from company profits — to replace the seats if the plan is finalized.
Chen said the company could flatten the protruding section of the seats, but whether it would adopt the design used on the Danshui Line was still under discussion.
The company will finalize the plan after discussing the seats and budget with the suppliers, he said.
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