Setting off from Taipei Main Station, ambassadors and representatives of 23 nations yesterday took a trip on the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line and sang its praises.
One group from the French Office in Taipei marveled at wireless chargers installed by carriage windows, which automatically charge passengers’ compatible mobile devices placed on the platforms.
The metro line also provides passengers with free Wi-Fi connectivity, although issues of signal loss have to be resolved by resetting connection settings on devices.
Photo: Sean Lin, Taipei Times
“It is a very smooth trip,” French Office in Taipei Director Benoit Guidee said.
“France works a lot with Taoyuan,” he said, referring to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between partly French-invested aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the Taoyuan City Government on the establishment of an aircraft maintenance facility.
“We are very optimistic about the future of Taoyuan as the ‘gate to the world,’ especially to France and Europe,” he added.
A number of French companies last year visited Taoyuan to explore business opportunities after Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) visited France to attend a technology conference, where he delivered a speech on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) initiative to build an “Asian Silicon Valley” in Taoyuan, Guidee said.
Paris has set out plans to build a similar rail line to connect to its airports, and Taoyuan’s experience constructing the airport MRT line could serve as a useful reference, Guidee said, adding that he would “definitely” use the line next time he travels out of Taiwan.
Taoyuan Metro Corp vice president Hsu Jun-jia (許浚嘉) said that the technology employed in the line’s power and signal systems were built by foreign companies, while construction of the MRT system, including the stations and rails, was carried out by local firms.
British Office Taipei Representative Catherine Nettleton lauded the airport MRT line, calling it a “useful piece of infrastructure” for British travelers visiting Taiwan, as well as Taiwanese.
She said the ride was “very smooth,” adding that construction quality “compares favorably” to metro systems in Britain.
Two British companies were involved in the construction of the MRT line: Siemens UK, which was responsible for the signals system, and Ricardo Rail, which conducted validity and verification for the system.
Rail building is an important industry in the UK, Nettleton said, adding that British firms have much to contribute to the future development of the Taoyuan MRT system.
Asked to rate the MRT line on a scale of one to 10 points, Guatemalan Ambassador to Taiwan Maria Aguja emphatically said “10,” adding that she felt a “sense of security” during the ride.
“In the past, Taiwan had been synonymous with Taipei. Today, Taiwan is more than just Taipei,” Cheng said at a luncheon after the trip.
The “capital circle” concept — encompassing Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan — has become a reality with the launch of the airport MRT, which has brought the three municipalities closer than ever before and opened up new frontiers for investment and job opportunities, he added.
ADEQUATE COVERAGE: New Taipei City, which has more than 9,500 people under home quarantine, said it would add another 450 rooms at its disease prevention hotels The Taipei City Government has added a fourth designated disease prevention hotel, allowing people under 14-day home quarantine to isolate themselves from NT$5,000 per day, it said yesterday. The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism launched the first disease prevention hotel on Feb. 21 to accommodate travelers without a place to stay during mandatory home isolation or quarantine, and for people who want to separate themselves from their family members or roommates during quarantine. The department said that as of yesterday, more than 120 travelers have stayed at one of the city’s three disease prevention hotels, and their 178 rooms are nearly
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
All state-run columbariums must strictly regulate how many visitors they host during Tomb Sweeping Day on Saturday next week to curb the spread of COVID-19, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday. Hou asked people to use online worshipping services instead. Electronic “tomb sweeping” systems, which display a virtual altar for people to make offerings and say prayers, can reduce crowd sizes at columbariums, Hou said during a site visit to Shulin Life Memorial Hall (樹林生命紀念館), a columbarium in the city’s Shulin Disrict (樹林). Measures for admission control would be strictly implemented in state-run columbariums, Hou said, pointing to the Shulin