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Mayor Attends Metropolitan Symposium, Discusses Mass Transit Planning

Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the Metropolitan Symposium on May 10 to discuss the topic of consolidation and redevelopment of mass transit resources within the greater Taipei area.

Dignitaries include Keelung City Mayor Lin Yu-chang, government officials, and experts from various fields.

During his address, Ko pointed out that the operation of mass transit system in the greater Taipei area is facing three challenges today: Transit-oriented development (TOD), commercialization, and ‘chaos’ of mass transit systems.

The mayor pointed out that the problems have remained unresolved for the last three decades and need to be dealt with. Noting that the Department of Rapid Transit Systems remained a temporary, specialized institution and not officially a public agency, Ko stressed that the organization established in 1987 will likely encounter problems with the abolishment of related articles governing the hiring of technical personnel for agencies in the Civil Service Employment Act last year.

He also questioned the necessity of five different municipal governments each having departments with portfolios related to mass transit systems. Citing Taoyuan City as an example, he believes that operations will be difficult if the agency only manages the Airport MRT. He also talked about some disagreement with the split on construction costs for MRT Xizhi Minsheng Line with New Taipei City Government.

Speaking at the closing of the event, Ko admitted that he doesn’t expect answers through the symposium, but he believes that the event serves as a platform to lay out the challenges. It is easier to find possible solutions by determining the problems first. Rather than waiting for time to pass without taking any action, he prefers to list the questions out before searching for answers.