Sun, Feb 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei mayor visits MRT depot, tries out simulator

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, front, second right, inspects the Taipei MRT’s Beitou maintenance depot yesterday.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday inspected the Beitou Depot of the city’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, where he was briefed about its operations and the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp’s (TRTC) outlook on the metro rail system’s future.

Before entering the depot, Ko visited the Interactive Emergency Evacuation Exhibition Center near the Beitou Resort, where he tried out a board game that tests players’ emergency responses when a fire breaks out on the MRT.

Ko also entered a “kinetic driving simulator,” where he assumed the role of an MRT driver and experienced the impact created on MRT carriages by different magnitudes of earthquakes and typhoons.

TRTC Planning Division head Wu Chun-yo (吳俊佑) briefed Ko on a series of events scheduled by the company to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the MRT’s launch, including an international seminar scheduled to take place in September to promote Taipei and boost MRT ridership.

Wu said the company is formulating a plan scheduled to take effect in May that would allow students from low-income families in Taipei and New Taipei City to take a free round-trip from home to school every day.

The company is also devising plans to combine the MRT system with retail and logistics, he said.

For example, people would be able pick up merchandise they purchase online at their preferred convenience stores in MRT stations by scanning QR codes, Wu said.

“Smart” lockers that would allow consumers to pick up products they purchased online are also being planned, he said.

Ko later inspected the depot, where he learned about a track welding technique known as electric flash butt welding, as well as track cleaning vehicles.

In related news, Ko pledged to tackle billboards and signs illegally put up around Taipei.

He said that as there are hundreds of thousands of illegal signs and billboards in Taipei, the city government would first target those put up in the vicinity of historic sites and buildings, starting with the North Gate on Zhongxiao W Road (忠孝西路).

With the recent demolition of an onramp connected to the Zhongxiao Bridge (忠孝橋), the city government has set plans to accentuate the historic North Gate, but residents said billboards and signs illegally displayed on Zhongxiao W Road cause an unpleasant sight near the gate.

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