Wed, Mar 18, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taipei plans big bus station changes

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Buses from Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu will no longer be allowed to enter the Taipei Main Station complex starting next year, and the Taipei West Bus Station will be demolished, the Taipei City Government announced yesterday.

Intercity bus lines currently run from two separate bus stations within the Taipei Main Station complex.

Starting next year, long-range intercity bus lines will be dispatched from the Taipei Bus Station (臺北轉運站), with short-range lines relegated to roadside bus stops, Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) said.

The Taipei West Bus Station is scheduled to be torn down to make room for a set of city bus stops.

“With the Taiwan High Speed Rail’s pending extension to Nangang District (南港) and the completion of the Airport MRT [to Taoyuan], we need to make transfers easier, while making it more convenient for Taipei residents to use city buses,” Lin said.

Establishing a set of city bus stops on the site of the Taipei West Bus Station would be a more efficient use of space, allowing an estimated 50,000 passengers a day to use the site, compared with 30,000 at present.

The demolition is also necessary to realize the city government’s plans to change the area around the historic North Gate (北門, Beimen) from one of the city’s most complicated intersections into a pedestrian-friendly plaza.

Huang Hsin-hao (黃信豪), head of the comprehensive planning section of Taipei Public Transportation Office, said the changes would reduce confusion over where to board intercity buses at Taipei Main Station, make it easier for those bus passengers to transfer to the MRT system and increase the safety of passengers boarding city buses.

The plan would see the bus stops for intercity buses to Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Keelung moved to roadside stops, such as the Beimen, Yuanshan and Shandao Temple MRT stations, as well as Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel and the eastern side of the Taipei Main Station.

Lin denied reports that most bus lines from Keelung would be required to discharge their passengers at the new Nangang bus station, saying only one Keelung bus line would be transferred, which would impact about 200 passengers daily.

Taipei City Government officials are to hold talks with their Keelung counterparts next week about having Keelung city buses transport passengers to Nangang.

The Nangang bus station is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year and it will serve as a terminus for bus passengers from Yilan and other eastern counties, Huang said.

However, the city government would also encourage new intercity lines from Keelung to use the station as their terminus, he added.

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