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MRT Volunteers Help Monitor Thermal Imaging Systems

MRT volunteers monitoring passenger temperatures at the gate In light of the escalating outbreak situation in Taiwan, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) has also stepped up its outbreak prevention measures accordingly. Thermal imaging systems have been installed at major stations including MRT Taipei Main Station, MRT Ximen Station, and MRT Taipei City Hall Station to monitor passengers’ body temperature. Thanks to the metro volunteers for voluntarily joining the taxing monitoring work and fighting the outbreak together, allowing passengers to ride MRT trains with peace of mind.

According to the volunteer brigade leader Luan Chiu-Lien: “The company has provided us with isolation gowns, safety goggles, and gloves; the comprehensive protective gear enables us to work with peace of mind!” Nonetheless, due to the labor-intensive nature of the monitoring work, some of the volunteers with chronic diseases are advised not to overexert themselves in order to protect the volunteers’ health.

Having worked as a volunteer for TRTC over the last 2 decades, Luan Chiu-Lien has accompanied Taipei Metro throughout most of its 24-year history: “I started with the intention of exercising and losing weight, little did I know that I would dive into volunteer service for 20 years!” She was there scrubbing the platform floor with the station staff after Typhoon Nari, and she also helped to take passengers’ body temperatures at the stations during SARS. Faced with the rapidly escalating COVID-19 outbreak, she indicated that the volunteers will be there to support the outbreak prevention efforts: “Everybody volunteered enthusiastically when we learned that monitoring personnel is needed at the stations.”

Luan mainly serves at MRT Taipei Main Station, which is not only a three-rail transfer station, but also the transport hub where the MRT Blue Line meets the Red Line, hence it is an extremely busy station. Her slender silhouette is often seen amid the crowd; with eyes wide open, she carefully looks out for situations that passengers may have encountered. Being a jack of all trades, she is able to guide senior citizens and disabled passengers quickly; faced with a wide range of questions from passengers, she can offer the correct answers like a computer; when coming across foreigners, she can also offer assistance using her limited English combined with gesticulation. The challenging job provides her with a tremendous sense of accomplishment!

Founded in December 2000, the Taipei Metro Volunteer Brigade helps to guide passengers in and out of the ticket gates and trains, as well as providing them with information services. Currently, the number of volunteers has exceeded 300, consisting of citizens ranging from 20 to 80 years old. They remain dutiful despite the lack of remuneration; hence they are the true unsung heroes of the MRT system and Taipei Metro! Luan hopes that more young people can join the volunteer brigade in the future, for they can truly appreciate the meaning of “serving with honor and finding happiness in helping others” by giving back to society and experiencing life.

Volunteers are an integral part of MRT stations; all aspiring youths are invited to join the Taipei Metro Volunteer Brigade to serve the public. For additional details, please contact the TRTC’s 24-hour customer service hotline (02) 218-12345 and 1999 Taipei Citizen Hotline (for callers outside of Taipei, please dial 02-27208889) or refer to the company’s official website (https://www.metro.taipei/).