Bike parking opens at MRT in Tamsui

SAFE SPACE::The new development is part of a plan to ensure that bikes remain safe from theft and to allow cyclists to plug into the city’s expanding MRT system

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 3

An indoor bicycle parking lot is set to open today as part of Taipei’s metropolitan train system at Tamsui MRT, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said yesterday, encouraging bicycle riders to take advantage of the service.

The bicycle parking lot is to open at 6am today, with a capacity for 30 bicycles and with staff available to help passengers park and claim their bicycles.

The parking area also provides basic maintenance tools. The parking fee runs at NT$10 per hour with an additional NT$5 charged for every 30 minutes afterward. The maximum charge for one day is NT$30.

TRTC general manager Tan Gwa-guang (譚國光) said most of the bicycle parking areas in Taiwan are outdoors, which results in a high theft rate.

The launch of the indoor bicycle facility with dedicated staff is the company’s latest effort to create a friendlier environment for bicycle riders, Tan added.

“Many bicycle riders take advantage of the MRT service at the weekend, and I believe the indoor parking lot will make it more convenient for bicycle riders,” he said.

The bicycle indoor parking lot is situated next to the car parking area at the station and glass walls are decorated with designs that incorporate natural scenery and bicycle patterns, he said.

According to Leo Ling (凌啟堯), director of TRTC’s public relations division, about 90 percent of MRT stations — or 67 out of the total of 77 stations on the high-capacity lines — are now open to bicyclists at the weekend.

Only stations with heavy passenger traffic on high-capacity lines are closed to bicycles, including Tamsui Station, Shipai Station, Jiantan Station, Taipei Main Station, National Taiwan University Hospital Station, Guting Station, Zhongxiao-Fuxing Station, Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station and Fu Jen University Station. All stations on the medium-capacity Wenshan-Neihu Line will remain closed to bicycles.

Tamsui MRT Station also has an outdoor bicycle parking area with 175 slots.

Tan said the indoor parking space will offer a safer option for bicycle riders.

The company plans to set up more indoor parking space in the future, he said.