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Maneuvering the New Taipei MRT Station

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Ever since the Taipei MRT station opened up new lines there have been about as many positive reactions as there have been negative ones in regards to transferring from station to station and maneuvering the fastest way to a given destination. Some people feel as if the new MRT lines and extensions ranging from the green line to the new yellowish-orange lines allow people to go further but is further what people want or more direct arrivals?

The most exciting thing that happened with the MRT was for residents of Xindian District. Rather than having the green line cut off at CKS Memorial Hall for getting to Ximen and the Blue Line, the line now extends into Ximen onwards all the way through Nanjing Fuxing MRT where there are many popular restaurants such as Hooters and Brass Monkey, and further to the Songshan station where you can access a number of buses heading out of the city. Note, this doesn’t mean the Songshan Airport Station as the two are different.

The other great improvement about the red line is that you can now get from the DaAn area to 101 and Elephant Mt. directly. The line also shoots directly up north to Danshui so visitors to and from that area have easy access both downtown and to the countryside. Additionally, there are many more stops extending out of Taipei City into the western side of New Taipei City that allow visitors to and from Xinzhuang and Banqiao to access the city more easily. However, few people seem to be heading to this area for travel due to the lagging attractions.

What has yet to be improved is a logical connection between the green line and the brown line, which currently only link between the red line. There needs to be a smarter way for residents in the Muzha area to get to Xindian instead of relying on buses. For whatever reason, that part of Taipei has been neglected over the years while the northern part of the brown line extending into Neihu has been more developed. Many students live in the Muzha area, accessing schools such as NCCU and Shixin University, and more residents are starting to move to that area for the cleaner air.

The most annoying this about coming down the red line in the MRT is that if you want to head further south on the green line past Guting you need to make sure you are on that line and not headed toward Nanshijiao, the last stop on the orange line. Also, going north from Xindian to Danshui requires that you get off at CKS and transfer. Luckily, the ramp is right across from where you get off and is timed to transfer passengers immediately but you almost always sacrifice losing your seat heading north.

There have been improvements with bike accessibility, however. According to the MRT’s English website, passengers with bicycles may access 85 stations except for all stations on the brown line (Wenhu line), Tamsui (Danshui) station, Taipei Main Station, DaAn Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center and Nanjing Fuxing Station. This was updated as of mid-April, 2015. The fact that the brown line is exclusively off limits is because it runs above ground and is limited to spacing, thus not allowing for designated areas for people to place their bikes. You can get away with folding bikes as long as they are packaged properly and do not exceed 165cm in length, however.

The metro is by far one of if not the cleanest in the world and has won several international awards for ongoing safety. It is also one of the most profitable mass public transportation systems in the world until 2015 when sales dropped due to a stabbing incident. Unfortunately back in 2014 there was a stabbing accident form someone suffering mental illness that struck the nation abruptly but such a case has been very rare. Passengers can rest assure to feel safe even traveling alone and should utilize this cheap form of transportation, with tickets usually ranging between US$0.50-2 depending on the distance.

Despite the design of the MRT not really making sense and quite honestly, is another example of architecture in Taipei that wasn’t thought out thoroughly, you are still able to benefit from it immensely and should take advantage of it if you are staying in accommodation near the MRT.

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