Friday, March 17, 2017

Tramway proposed between Keelung and Taipei

A vendor in a market in Pingtung city.

Aaron Wytze, whom you should be following if you follow things Taiwan, tweeted around the latest plan of the Tsai Administration to put a tramway between Nangang in Taipei and Keelung. PTT was alive with speculation, according to Aaron.

The demographic changes in the north continue. Both Taoyuan and Keelung are bedroom communities for Taipei. Taoyuan has already turned to the DPP, and by all accounts the Mayor is doing a solid job. Keelung there is some hope of change, since the DPP has been on the upswing there.

There already is a very convenient Taiwan Railways rail line serving Keelung with a bunch of stops in between, including the large and growing bedroom communities of Chidu and Badu. The tram looks like a reward to Keelung's DPP voters, and perhaps a sop to the tourism industry, and of course, a stimulus for the construction-industrial state. But additional and sexier public transportation like an elevated tram will draw more people out to the Keelung area. More younger couples relocating to Keelung will continue to change the demographics of that place in a DPP direction.

Too bad they can't change the weather.

But speaking as a Taichung resident, it is absolutely appalling that tax dollars are spent putting in a needless tram line to a destination already well served by a rich array of transportation, when there is so much that must be done in central and southern Taiwan, often really basic stuff, like sewers and water lines, but also bridge repair. We could use a tram line or two as well...

UPDATE: NBatto of Frozen Garlic in comments below
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You could visit the brand new presidential office in Taichung to state your case. It's purpose is supposed to be for bridging the regional divide (or re-election?).
See http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201703180010.aspx

frozengarlic said...

The proposed project is actually a way to avoid a huge new investment. It is essentially one new stop on the existing rail line (at Nangang Exhibition Center), some new rolling stock, and a maintenance depot. The trains will be more frequent, and the new stop will be convenient for me. However, this is just an incremental step in "MRTizing" the railway. I expect my property value to go up more because of the magical letters "MRT" and less because of any fundamental change in our transportation infrastructure.

The KMT had been pushing a completely new line (Minsheng-Xizhi Line), which probably could have been extended to Keelung. (Isn't it interesting that the press releases focus on Keelung, when the new line will have an equal and possibly greater impact on Xizhi.) The Minsheng-Xizhi line would have been a massive investment, and I think it is probably dead now. So if you are worried about the north soaking up money that should have been spent on central and southern Taiwan, you win!

Anonymous said...

DPP is buying votes with these infrastructure projects. KMT will have difficulty recover from this.

frozengarlic said...

Seems the Minsheng-Xizhi line is still alive. So I guess I was wrong.
http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/local/paper/1087688