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Showing posts with the label taipei mrt

Best And Worst Public Transport Systems - Comparing Rome, Berlin, Taipei and Hong Kong

An MRT station in Taipei A few months ago I took a night bus from Rome to the seaside resort of Ostia. Halfway through the journey, a weird smell began to fill the air. I wasn't sure what it was and I didn't think much about it until I heard other passengers complain.  As the smell became more and more unpleasant, the bus gradually slowed down until it stopped. The bus driver came out of his cabin and asked everyone to get off. When I stepped out of the bus, I saw that the front right tire was sparkling. A few seconds later it caught fire. The driver ran to grab the fire extinguisher. We were stuck in the middle of the road for about one hour in the cold, with no shops or cafes nearby, until the next bus arrived. Burning bus tire This was not an isolated incident. There have been 21 cases of burnt buses in Rome in 2018 alone. The phenomenon is so widespread that the people of the city have created a special word for it: "flambus". Accordi

Taipei-Taoyuan Airport Express Is Finally Coming

When you see scenes like this you know why Taipei really needs an airport express. Last week I arrived at Taipei Bus Station (located right next to Taipei Main Station ) and there I saw this huge line of people waiting to board the bus to the airport. When the bus arrived there were so many passengers that I had no choice but to wait for the next one. Overall it took me about one hour and a half to get from the bus station to the airport.  Then I arrived in Hong Kong. I exchanged some money, bought something to drink, recharged my Octopus Card (the equivalent of Taipei's Easy Card) and took that amazing, super modern, spacious Airport Express that runs from Hong Kong International Airport to Central in just 25 minutes!  When I first came to Taiwan at the end of 2011, I was quite surprised that this island, known all over the world for its high-tech industry, had no direct MRT connection between the airport and Taipei Main Station. I bought a ticket, exited the airport an

Taipei's Beimen MRT Station and Its Hidden Treasures

Two days ago I took for the first time the new Songshan-Xindian MRT line (松山新店線, Line 3), which opened on November 15 (I wasn't in Taiwan at the time). The new line is an extension of the former Xindian-Danshui Line , which connected Xindian, in the southern part of New Taipei City, and Danshui  (淡水), in the north. This South-North axis has now been split and two distinct MRT lines have been created: the Danshui-Xinyi Line  (淡水信義線), and the aforementioned Songshan-Xindian line. One interesting result of the completion of the MRT network is that all of the five city gates of Qing Dynasty Taipei Walled City now have stations named after them - Ximen (西門, 'West Gate'), Dongmen (東門, 'East Gate'), Beimen (北門, 'North Gate'), Nanmen (南門, 'South Gate') and Xiaonanmen (小南門, 'Little South Gate'). This highlights the infrastructural importance of the gates and of the boulevards which the Japanese constructed after the city walls' demolition