About 3,500 civil servants across 13 agencies at Cabinet and sub-ministerial levels began moving into a new office complex in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sinjhuang District (新莊) yesterday. While the new location is only 10km away from the majority of national government offices in downtown Taipei, workers have expressed worries over their daily commutes and the inconvenience the move may cause for citizens conducting businesses at the agencies.
They say despite six months of time to prepare, little progress has been made on traffic arrangements.
Dubbed the “auxiliary capital center,” the complex is to eventually be served by two mass rapid transit lines, but the lines will not be opened for at least two years.
At the moment, a few bus lines connect it to the city, with a round trip to and from central Taipei taking at least two hours and running till about 10:30pm.
Workers who have scoped out the location said taxis are difficult to hail as the area is largely undeveloped, dotted mostly with apartment buildings that are not yet completed.
The Council of Labor Affairs is to become the biggest occupant moving a total of 1,561 employees.
The Ministry of Culture is to move in large part into the south wing of the twin-building complex, though it has fewer workers.
Not everyone is upset about the move.
While it is bad news for civil servants living on the far side of Taipei, those who currently live closer to the new complex in New Taipei City can stay in bed longer in the morning.
The New Taipei City Government is responsible for traffic planning in the area. City officials said the new complex is close to an exit of National Highway No. 1 and two expressways, which translates into easy access for motorists.
The city government plans to adjust current bus routes and frequencies to increase the number of buses serving the office complex to 800 per day during the week, the city government’s Transportation Department said.