Thu, Feb 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Forecasts could help drivers: Ko

COMPLIED DATA:By using traffic information gathered from the same period in the past few years, the city government could help predict conditions for drivers

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je makes an announcement encouraging people to use the public transportation during the Lunar New Year holiday as he inspects the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp’s control center yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said a traffic forecast system should be established to provide drivers with traffic condition information.

Ko yesterday visited the Taipei Traffic and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) System Operation Control Center to check the city’s traffic conditions before Lunar New Year’s Eve, when a large number of people are expected to travel to their hometowns for the holiday.

Data from previous years showed that traffic volumes begin to increase from about four weeks prior to the Lunar New Year, so the city government is using data from this period over the past few years to predict traffic conditions and publicize it on the Internet, he said, adding that this year’s data would also be used for comparative analysis after the holidays.

“We have weather forecasts, so we should gradually establish a traffic condition forecast system,” Ko said, adding that there is a remote-control mechanism that informs drivers about road conditions using 99 LED traffic signs set up at intersections in the city.

The city government is still trying to find effective methods to convey the information to drivers, he said.

Ko appeared surprised when he heard that the control center’s workers get a NT$450 bonus for working a late-night shift.

He later said he thought that very few people would be working the late-night shift because public transportation stops operating at night, but road construction continues.

Ko said he thinks the control center employees are hardworking and that their bonus is somewhat low.

Meanwhile, an opinion poll conducted by a television outlet showed that Ko’s approval rating has increased from 32 percent last year to 50 percent, and that his satisfaction rating among all government heads has improved from last years second-last position to 10th this year.

“I saw the poll yesterday, but it just shows that I have improved from ‘very bad’ to ‘bad,’ so what is there to be happy about?” Ko said.

“I only rank in the middle. I should just do my duties earnestly,” he added.

When asked about media personality Clara Chou’s (周玉蔻) remark that the Democratic Progressive Party might nominate a “dark horse” for the mayoral election, Ko said “I know about it, but they will evaluate it. There will always be ‘a dark horse’ at any time.”

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