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Old November 14th, 2015, 07:27 AM   #421
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Taoyuan Airport - Terminal 1 Renovation


se-asia-121126-250636.jpg by Cameron Yee, on Flickr


se-asia-121126-250638.jpg by Cameron Yee, on Flickr


se-asia-121126-250639.jpg by Cameron Yee, on Flickr


se-asia-121126-250635.jpg by Cameron Yee, on Flickr
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Old November 18th, 2015, 05:13 AM   #422
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Wed, Nov 18, 2015
‘Central Park’ to replace airport by 2020
Taipei Times Excerpt

TSAI CONCURS : DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao said at a forum that the party’s presidential candidate is in favor of a proposal to vacate Songshan airport by 2020



Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, left, points to a model of the city at a forum in Taipei yesterday to discuss plans to relocate Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) to Taoyuan by 2020.
Photo: CNA


The Taipei City Government yesterday said it hopes to vacate the site currently occupied by Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) by 2020, and that it plans to transform the site into a 330-hectare “Central Park” with an emphasis on ecology, leisure and humanities.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) unveiled the plan at a forum in Taipei attended by government officials from Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Taoyuan, as well as representatives of presidential candidates, to discuss the future of the airport, which participants said should be vacated and merged with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The plan involves linking a strip of land vacated by the Songshan airport on the southern bank of the Keelung River (基隆河), with river sections in Taipei’s Dazhi (大直) and Dawan (大灣) areas, which Lin said would make for a “wetland park” covering 162 hectares.

The park would benefit from its close proximity to the 170-hectare Taipei Expo Park (花博公園), where the Yuanshan natural landscape park is to be built after the city decided to relocate the Taipei City Museum to the former site of the Taipei City Council over concerns about potential damage the construction of the museum could cause local freshwater ecology and the nearby Yuanshan Archeological Site (圓山遺址).

Together, the Taipei Expo Park and the wetland park would serve as the city’s “Central Park,” where Taipei residents could spend leisure time and take part in recreational activities, Lin said.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 08:55 AM   #423
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Quote:
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Wed, Jul 22, 2015
Airport seeks ideas for third terminal
OVERLOADED? With passenger numbers estimated to hit 40 million this year, people traffic could exceed the capacities of the airport’s two terminals, an official said
Taipei Times Excerpt


Source : http://www.taoyuan-airport.com

Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday said it is seeking public input on designs for the airport’s third terminal, adding that the company would take the designs into consideration in discussions with its architectural team.

The new terminal forms a core feature of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project, and in terms of scale and funding would be the largest construction since the “10 Major Construction Projects” of the 1970s, TIAC senior vice president Wen Yung-sung (溫永松) said.

The project includes constructions of a third terminal, air bridges, a multifunctional building connecting Terminal Two and the new one, parking for aircraft, automatic people movers and access roads to the terminal.

The cost of the project is estimated to top NT$74 billion (US$2.36 billion), with about NT$48.8 billion to be spent on the planned terminal, he said.

The new terminal would be designed to accommodate 45 million passengers per year, Wen said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2017 and be completed by 2020, he said.
Activists accuse Eric Chu of favoritism
A development project at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was carried out despite the areas poor economic performance over the past 20 years

17 November 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt

Campaigners yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu of benefiting a corporation owned by his father-in-law through revisions to the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project approved during his tenure as vice premier.

Our suspicion is that [Chu] used his authority to unnecessarily expand the project in order to turn a piece of wasteland owned by his family into prime real estate that would be coveted by developers, independent Taoyuan legislative candidate Wang Pao-hsuan said at a rally in front of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters in Taipei.

Wang, who has long campaigned against the project, was accompanied by several members of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Anti-Eviction Alliance and Taoyuan MRT A7 Station Self-Help Organization.

The Aerotropolis projects original plans called mostly for the use of public land, with some private land needed for the construction of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airports third runway, Wang said.

Plans to expand the scope of the project to include private land surrounding a nearby free-trade zone were approved by the Construction and Planning Agency during Chus tenure as vice premier, she said.

Chu served two terms as Taoyuan commissioner before being appointed vice premier in 2009. He has been the mayor of New Taipei City since 2010.

Wang displayed a zoning map showing that a finger of land extending away from the original free-trade zone was included in expansion plans, saying that the tip of the finger included property owned by Everterminal Co.

The corporation is owned by Chu's father-in-law, Kao Yu-jen, and Chu might have used his influence as vice premier to ensure the corporations land was included in expansion plans, she said.

While the original value of the land was extremely low, if it is included in the expansion plans, Aerotropolis landowners would be compensated with land in the most valuable residential and business districts where the MRT is being constructed, she said, adding that Chu might have sought to illegally profit from his father-in-law's firm.

The expansion plans, which would triple the size of the free-trade zone, made little economic sense because of the zones poor performance over the past 19 years, which has led to the development of less than half of the existing zone, she said.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 03:42 PM   #424
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Wed, Nov 18, 2015
CAA head suggests Songshan closure be put on hold
Taipei Times Excerpt

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Deputy Director-General Fang Chih-wen (方志文) yesterday said that the nation should wait until at least 2030 to evaluate whether Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) should be closed completely, after terminals three and four, as well as the third runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, have been completed.

Fang made the remarks after the CAA announced plans to relocate Songhshan airport to Taoyuan by 2020.

Fang said Songshan airport is a hub for flights serving the outlying islands, as well as remote areas, adding that the facilities in the airport are shared by civilian carriers and the air force.

Passenger volumes at Songshan airport reached 6.1 million last year, including 3.3 million passengers on international flights and 2.8 million on domestic flights, Fang said.

Given the limited capacity at the Songshan facility, Fang said that the administration has capped passenger volume there at 7.1 million.

Among 2.8 million passengers on domestic flights, 2.3 million are those boarding flights heading to outlying islands and remote areas, he said, adding that any plan to close Songshan airport should be discussed among stakeholders.

Fang said the administration needs to consider whether it is viable to move all of Songshan’s passengers and flights to Taoyuan, adding that the Taipei City Government made estimates based on passenger volume for last year and failed to take into account potential growth of passenger numbers in the coming years.

Statistics from the CAA showed that Taoyuan airport is scheduled to have two runways in operation after renovation work is completed on Jan. 18, with the new facilities able to handle 50 flights per hour.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 04:35 AM   #425
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Thu, Nov 19, 2015
Social rights advocate calls Ko’s airport plans ‘selfish’
Taipei Times Excerpt

Veteran social rights advocate and National Chengchi University professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) yesterday said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) endorsement of vacating Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) by 2020 and merging it with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was “selfish,” adding that the mayor has a “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) attitide.

Ko on Tuesday at a forum in Taipei cited safety concerns as one of the reasons for the decision to merge Songshan airport’s operations with Taoyuan airport.

“After the TransAsia Airways accident earlier this year, safety has become a concern that needs addressing,” Ko said.

Ko said that Songshan airport’s location means there are height restrictions for structures on approximately 3,000 hectares of land extending to Keelung to ensure flight safety.

“Does Taoyuan not have height restrictions? Is there not a safety concern in Taoyuan?” Hsu wrote on Facebook.

Hsu said construction of the third runway at Taoyuan airport involves expropriation of land for which public hearings are being held and asked Ko if he is suggesting that the opinions of Taoyuan residents can be disregarded.
Hsu accused Ko of having a “NIMBY” mindset, calling the mayor’s endorsement of the merger “the shame of Taipei.”

“Is it right to dump what you do not want onto others just because you want building restrictions removed so you can boost land development in Taipei?” Hsu asked.

Hsu said that merging the two airports is not just Taipei’s concern, but one that requires discussions involving many groups.
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Old November 21st, 2015, 10:06 AM   #426
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Songshan Airport

台北盆地 by Wei-Te Wong, on Flickr
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Old November 24th, 2015, 04:27 AM   #427
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Taipei Times Excerpt
Tue, Nov 24, 2015
Group aims to preserve historic TRA warehouse


_MG_1290 by 威翰 陳, on Flickr

A civic group has applied for Warehouse No. 7 at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s Taoyuan Station to be listed as a building of historic significance to prevent its demolition and replacement with a station that would serve the proposed Taoyuan Metro.

Lan Po-han (藍博瀚), a student who is a member of the Yangming 1st Road Experiential Workshop, the group tendering the application, said that over the past 79 years the station’s warehouses had witnessed the development of Taoyuan’s railways and its growth from an agricultural township in the Japanese colonial era to a modern metropolis.

Lan said that Warehouse No. 7 was probably built by a group known as the Hsinchu agricultural association and was later passed on to the TRA.

The Taoyuan TRA station has a paucity of cultural assets, and we hope the warehouse can be preserved, Lan said, adding that building is ideally suited to becoming an arts and performance center.

Further down the line we hope the building can become a railway-themed arts village, Lan said.

The buildings, featuring bricks with the “TR” mark, were made during the Japanese colonial era, Lan said.
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Old November 25th, 2015, 05:06 PM   #428
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Taipei mayor wants construction of Wanda metro line accelerated



Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je expressed hope Friday that construction of the planned Taipei Mass Rapid Transit Wanda-Zhonghe-Shulin Line can be accelerated smoothly.

Ko said he is aware that the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit can accomplish construction projects of a very high quality, but said its pace of construction is far too slow.

He expressed hope that construction of the planned Wanda line can be carried out faster.

The mayor made the remarks while addressing a ceremony in New Taipei's Zhonghe District to mark the beginning of a contract for the Wanda-Zhonghe-Shulin Line first-phase construction project.

He said he will also remind the department to take safety seriously and pray that the construction will be conducted smoothly.

Also attending the ceremony was New Taipei Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi.

In the first phase of construction, a 9.5 kilometer-long line will be built to connect the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station with the planned Si Shi Zhang Station in Zhonghe. It will run through a total of nine underground stations.

The construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
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Old November 30th, 2015, 06:03 AM   #429
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Taipei Times with CNA - Excerpt
Mon, Nov 30, 2015
Firms, planning slowing airport line progress: Ko
ESCAPE HATCH:Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je told a forum that Songshan airport gives President Ma Ying-jeou a speedy option should he feel the need to flee Taiwan

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that the stalling progress of the MRT railway system’s line servicing Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is the result of large corporations refusing to release plots of land they own, which has resulted in the route following a meandering path, hampering construction.

Ko made the remarks at a forum with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidate Luo Chih-cheng (羅致政), where the two discussed current issues and the potential effect first-time voters will have on the Jan. 16 polls.

When asked about the plausibility of plans espoused by the Taipei City Government to eliminate Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and merge it with Taoyuan airport, Ko said the annual passenger volume at Songshan airport is not very large, totaling about 6 million travelers last year.

He questioned the need to build an MRT line from Taipei Railway Station to Taoyuan airport as part of New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) yet-to-be-honored pledge to build “three rings and three lines,” which involves the construction of a series of MRT lines and light-rail systems.

“If the Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Taoyuan Station had been built 5km west of its location, would there still be a need to build the MRT’s airport line?” Ko asked.

He criticized the decision making process behind the construction of the Taoyuan airport line, saying it failed to take land owned by corporations into consideration.

“The facts are clear. Why is the MRT airport line still unfinished? Because it has too many stations. Will people really be able to get to the airport [from Taipei Railway Station] in 35 minutes?” Ko said, adding that he thinks a 35-minute commute would still be somewhat lengthy.

Ko said it is evident from the route’s plan that corporations with plots of land along the line refused to let the government expropriate them, because they are waiting for their value to increase.
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Old December 5th, 2015, 08:23 AM   #430
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Sat, Dec 05, 2015
Ko, TRA plan to make Nangang hub
Taipei Times Excerpt


IMG_0081 捷運南港軟體園區站 by Chao-Wei Juan, on Flickr

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉), vowing to transform a 3 hectare commercial district next to the Nangang Station into a transportation hub and a biotech belt connecting clinical research centers in the Nangang District (南港) and production lines in Hsinchu through the High Speed Rail.

During his speech to commemorate the occasion, Ko said that Nangang is well-positioned to become a biotech research hub, due to its close proximity to central governmental research institutes, including the Academia Sinica’s biotech park — which is scheduled to open in October next year — the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Food and Drug Administration.

Ko said that with three rail services — the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, the HSR and the Taiwan Railways — criss-crossing the station, providing Nangang with transportation links, the district will become Taipei’s “eastern gateway.”

The mayor said that the city’s East District Gateway Project will be put under the city government-led urban renewal scheme.

He said that needs identified for Nangang’s commercial developments include hotels, stores and the Taipei Pop Music Center, a city government agency set up to promote Taiwanese pop music, which is under construction.

Taipei Department of Urban Development said the city government would seek to expand the commercial district by joining forces with the TRA to seek available city government-owned land in areas around the nearby Zhongxiao military camp and acquire land owned by the Chiao Thai Hsing Flour Mill, to establish a biotech industrial cluster.

The land needed for development would be acquired through city government-led urban renewal, where the government and landowners seek to work out an agreement regarding distribution of floor space in superficies.

Chou said that the cluster would be used for small-scale pharmaceutical production and clinical tests related to biotech researches.

The department said that it had set out plans to build the Nangang Station East Terminal into a 16-story building, with the first floor to be used as a bus station.

The second to 16th floors are to be used for the establishment of hotels and other commercial properties, and the city government plans to accept business proposals in September next year.

A 34-story building has also been planned in the commercial district next to Nangang Station.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 04:05 AM   #431
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Fri, Dec 11, 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt
TRA urges funding for historical depot


PRESERVATION:The Taipei Railway Workshop needs immediate funds to restore and maintain its facilities in order to ensure its continued existence, the TRA said

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday urged the Ministry of Culture to quickly appropriate funding to maintain and preserve the Taipei Railway Workshop (台北機廠), which was designated a historical site by the ministry in April.

The request by the TRA’s asset revitalization committee follows a meeting yesterday to discuss public requests for easier access to the maintenance depot, which was built during the Japanese colonial era.

Following its designation, the TRA announced rules limiting access to the site to the following groups: government workers entering the workshop for business purposes; individuals from public or private universities or research institutions visiting it for teaching or research purposes; and experts from private or public museums visiting to research, preserve or promote the workshop.
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Old December 26th, 2015, 12:32 AM   #432
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Sat, Jun 13, 2015
Taoyuan airport targets January finish to runway
Taipei Times with CNA Excerpt



The 36-year-old Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is to begin a new chapter in its history after the renovation of its two runways is fully completed in January next year.
Runway reopens after nine months
The US$75.75m north runway renovations at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport are the first major renovations since its opening in 1979
Taipei Times with CNA Excerpt
25 December 2015

President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday officiated a ceremony to mark the reopening of the north runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport after a nine-month overhaul.

Ma praised project contributors and said the upgrade is expected to ease air traffic congestion.

The ceremony culminated with the first takeoff from the refurbished runway, a China Airlines flight carrying 369 passengers to Seoul, the company said.

Both the north and south airport runways have returned to operational status this year, Ma said, adding that it was not an easy achievement.

After several years of rapid growth, Taiwan's main gateway has become one of the world's busiest airports, Ma said, adding that its development should be continued.

The two runways have been undergoing major overhauls since last year. After the south runway reopened on Jan. 8, Taoyuan International Airport Corp closed the north runway on March 6 for renovations the first major renovation project since the airport opened in 1979.

The north runway was scheduled to be reopened on Jan. 8, but thanks to the concerted efforts of a number of government agencies and construction firms, the runway was able to be reopened earlier than scheduled, the company said.

With the north runway operational the airport can schedule 50 flights per hour on the two runways, instead of the maximum 33 on one runway, the company said, adding that the punctuality rate is likely to increase from 85 percent to 98 percent.

The renovated north runway, at 3,660m long and 60m wide, is equipped with advanced navigation assistance systems, meaning the airport is able to handle larger passenger planes, such as the Airbus A380, the company added.

It took 294 work days to complete the upgrades at a cost of NT$2.5 billion (US$75.75 million), the company said.
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Old January 6th, 2016, 02:47 PM   #433
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Jan 06, 2016
Taipei Times Excerpt
Residents, Trees Party slam proposed renovation project
‘BIG BUDGET, BIG DISASTER’: Tianmu residents called for trees and vegetation, not art installations, while the Trees Party chairman said the plan is a recipe for disaster










東森新聞

Dozens of residents from Taipei’s Tianmu area (天母) and Trees Party activists yesterday protested against a NT$130 million (US$3.91 million) park renovation project by the Taipei City Government, which they said would relocate about 100 old trees and vast amounts of vegetation in Tienhe Park (天和) and Donghe Park (東和) in Tianmu.

The Taipei Parks and Street Lights Office yesterday conducted an on-site inspection at Tienhe Park to negotiate with residents and assess the condition of trees and facilities to be removed or renovated.

Residents said that they have launched a signature collection campaign to stop the renovation project, adding that Tienhe Park houses a well that is more than 300 years old and is one of the eight spectacles of Shilin District (士林), while the park is also a habitat for Taiwan blue magpies, a protected species generally considered Taiwan’s national bird.

Renovation would replace vegetation in the park with art installations and recreation facilities, affecting local ecology and hydrology, they said.

“We do not want art installations. We want trees and vegetation. Big budget is big disaster,” a local resident surnamed Lu (盧) said.

Residents do not oppose park maintenance or tree care, but they are against meaningless and extravagant renovation, such as removing trees for art installations, or replacing grass with concete, Lu said, adding that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) does not need to continue an ill-devised policy established by former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌).

Trees Party Chairman Pan Han-chiang (潘翰疆) said: “The renovation is part of the World Design Capital project, but its design is a recipe for disaster.”

Pan said the office planned to relocate 104 trees out of the 375 in Tienhe Park deemed unhealthy or dangerous, but the office should have arborists examine the trees to preserve them, instead of spending millions of New Taiwan dollars on demolishing them.

Office Deputy Chief Engineer Mo Hua-jung (莫華榕) said the office had already canceled plans to relocate the 104 trees after a meeting with residents last month, adding that only 15 trees considered dangerous might be removed pending further negotiation with residents.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 06:18 AM   #434
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Mon, May 04, 2015
Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome
‘INADEQUATE’ : Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union head Yu Yi said that the group’s right to protest was legally protected by the freedom of speech
Taipei Times Excerpt



Amid rising safety concerns related to the Taipei Dome project, the Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union yesterday called on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to adopt a bolder stance in negotiations with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) about the controversial Taipei Dome project, while reasserting that it would continue its campaign until the project is terminated.

Union director Yu Yi (游藝) yesterday said regarding recent remarks by Ko about the project that the Taipei City Government should give up its “flip-flop” stance and announce a plan to demolish the Taipei Dome.

He said that construction of the structure has fallen seriously behind schedule and caused obvious land subsidence in areas surrounding the construction site — both of which Yu said are evidence of Farglory’s “poor work” and solid points that would help the city government win possible lawsuits filed by Farglory if Ko decides to invalidate the company’s contract.

“The Taipei City Government should not be so afraid of potential lawsuits or compensation. It has a fairly good chance of winning,” he said.

People opposed to the project have said that it has been rife with corruption from the bidding and contracting process, managed by the administration of then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), to the environmental impact assessment during former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) time in office.

Ko last month said the Taipei Clean Government Committee is “decrypting” data related to dealings between former administrations and Farglory, and also called into question Ma’s and Hau’s integrity.

Yu also rejected comments that surfaced recently that say the Dome must be completed to avoid MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station from being seriously compromised.

“Tearing down the Dome and potential safety hazards are two separate things. While it is true that the underground base of the Dome has impacted the MRT station and it must be completed, the Dome itself has nothing to do with the station and demolishing it would not be a problem,” he said.
Ko denies sacking aide over bribery allegations
NO GUARANTEES: When asked if he would swear on his aides innocence, the mayor refused, saying that he would not vouch for anyone, as he is not a deity
9 January 2016
Taipei Times Excerpt

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday denied allegations by Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien of the Democratic Progressive Party that Ko aide Hung Chi-kunes resignation was related to Hung allegedly taking bribes from Farglory Group and that Ko had pressed Hung to resign.

Wang accused Hung, a Taipei City Government adviser who previously worked in Kos electon campaign, of having taken an eight-figure bribe from Farglory in exchange for trying to resolve issues surrounding the Taipei Dome project, whose construction has been suspended by the city government since May last year.

The accusation came one day after Hung tendered his resignation, which Ko said he had not yet approved.

The mayor denied Wangs accusations that he had forced Hung to resign, saying that Hung planned to take a rest after the elections on Saturday next week due to health issues.

Ko said he had not heard of Hungs alleged offense and that he would deal with the issue if evidence is presented.

If you have evidence, show it to me. Do not talk to the media, Ko said.

Wang replied: As the mayor, he should launch an investigation instead of asking a city councilor to do the job.

When asked whether he would be willing to swear on Hungs innocence, Ko said: I am not going to vouch for anyone. I am not a deity... How would I dare?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 07:33 AM   #435
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Taipei Mayor Ko's close aide wants a break, cites overwork
8 January 2016
The China Post Excerpt

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei City Government policy consultant Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤), a close aide to Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), was reported to have expressed wishes to leave his post due to overwork on Thursday, according to local media. Huang Ta-wei (黃大維), the city government's deputy spokesman, confirmed that Hung had recently expressed his fatigue to Ko and said he wished to “rest for a while.” He has yet to provide a formal resignation.

According to local media, Hung reportedly said that he had indeed told the Mayor he “was very tired,” both physically and mentally. Discussions were still underway, he admitted.

Explaining that he had medical problems such as high-blood pressure, Hung stated that he wished to get some rest during Taipei City's adjourned council sessions. “It's all related to personal reasons,” Hung told the Chinese-language Liberty Times.

Hung stated that in the past two years, his “thinking capacity” had been pushed to its limits. With Taiwan entering a new political environment following the upcoming elections, Hung said he needed to refresh his knowledge and plan his next steps.

These problems could not be dealt with if he remained in the government administration, Hung said.

Hung was a vital aide during Ko's campaign in the 2014 municipal elections, and after Ko's winning bid had become part of the new administration as a policy consultant, concentrating efforts on the political environment, and planning and executing long-term operations.

Citing a major health burden of the past two years, Hung stated that he had previously told Ko of his plans to temporarily rest.

However, as Hung holds positions on the city government's mainland China affairs team and its Clean Government Committee, the policy consultant stated his respect for the mayor's final decision on the rights of personnel.

Hung, only a policy consultant in Ko's administration, found himself in the media spotlight and came under fire at city council meetings due to claims made by Kuomintang (KMT) Taipei City councilors.

They claimed Hung had leaked confidential information to certain news media and political pundits.

He was accused of providing classified government files on five construction corruption cases in Taipei, which were top of Ko's hit list during the early days of his mayoral term (the MeHas City development project, Songshan Cultural Park, the Gate of Taipei construction project, Syntrend Creative Park and the Taipei Dome).
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Old January 21st, 2016, 03:38 PM   #436
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Jan 21, 2016
Taipei suspends Dome architects’ operating licenses
Taipei Times Excerpt

Following a three-month long deliberation, the Taipei City Government yesterday suspended the operating licenses of Taipei Dome architect Stan Lo (羅興華) and his predecessor Hsu Shao-yu (徐少游) for two years.

The punishment came one day after Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he would soon “show his cards” to Taipei Dome contractor Farglory Group chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄).

It is the most severe option among those suggested by the city’s Disciplinary Committee for Architects.

Taipei Department of Urban Development architect Hung Te-hao (洪德豪) said the men were punished in accordance with Article 18 of the Architect’s Act (建築師法) and Article 58 of the Building Act (建築法) for failing to carry out construction according to the construction plan, for which they also violated legal procedures, bypassing an environmental impact assessment, an urban design review and applications for changes to the project’s construction and operating licenses.

The two men diverted from the stadium’s original construction plan in a total of 79 areas, which constitute about 70 percent of the construction, Hung said.

Their negligence in overseeing the construction also caused damage to a smokestack and historic buildings in the adjacent Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區) and created cracks in the tunnels along the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system’s Bannan line, he said.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:20 PM   #437
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Wed, Jan 27, 2016
Bureau denies any Airport Rail contract compromise
NO BACKROOM DEAL : The bureau denied premier Mao had given instructions to accept ‘non-conformities’ as failure to reach contracted speeds has delayed the rail

Taipei Times Excerpt

The Bureau of High Speed Rail yesterday denied that former premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) had instructed the bureau to facilitate the launch of the Airport Rail by considering the acceptance of “non-conformities with the contractual requirements” at reduced prices as long as they would not hinder safety, adding that the bureau still aims to launch the system by the end of March.

Bureau head engineer Chung Wei-li (鍾維力) said that Mao did not give the instruction, and the bureau is waiting for the contractor to finish testing the system, while addressing any possible system errors.

Chung said that the contractor has yet to fulfill its contractual obligations.

While the contract states that the Airport Rail’s operation time between Taipei Railway Station and the Terminal One of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport must be 35 minutes, it currently takes 37 minutes to travel between the two stations, Chung said.

Additionally, the contract states that the system should be able to deploy trains at intervals of three minutes, but the system can only achieve an interval of 3 minutes, 15 seconds, he said.

“The contractor has been taking a long time to test the system, which has delayed the launch of the Airport Rail for almost one year,” he said. “In view of the public interest, we are assessing whether we can launch the system based on the status quo, provided that the system is safe and reliable.”

Chung said that the contractor must work on enhancing the capacity of the Airport Rail to fulfill the terms of the contract after the system is launched, adding that the contractor would be fined if it fails to deliver the contractually required results in time.

The Taipei MRT system applied the same model when it first began operations. The MRT system was able to run trains at five-minute intervals initially, but it is now capable of dispatching trains at three-minute intervals following testing after the system was launched, Chung said.

He said that the bureau is still negotiating with the contractor over the proposal’s viability, while it has yet to submit an official assessment to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Executive Yuan for approval.

“We could wait until the contractor meets all the requirements stated in the contract to launch the system, if the public is fine with that,” Chung said.

Asked why the option of accepting non-conformity with the contractual requirements at reduced cost was mentioned many times in the documents related to the launch of the Airport Rail, Chung said that Article 72 of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) upholds such action, which had been raised in bureau discussions with the Public Construction Commission.
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Old January 28th, 2016, 06:03 PM   #438
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Fri, Jan 29, 2016
Nangang high speed rail station on track for June
Taipei Times Excerpt

Taipei’s Nangang (南港) high speed railway (HSR) station is scheduled to open in July, which is expected to ease crowds, said the Bureau of High Speed Rail.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp yesterday began integrated testing at Nangang Station. During testing, engineers gauge the reliability of the system by running trains between Taipei Main Station and Nangang station.

The company said the distance between the two stations is about 9km, with an estimated travel time of 7 minutes. The train fare for passengers traveling this section is about NT$40.

Nangang Station will serve as the high speed rail network’s terminal station in the north, extending the railway operations to 350km. An adult ticket from Nangang to Zuoying (左營), the terminal station in the south, it is to cost NT$1,530. The ticket for non-reserved seats within the same section will be NT$1,480.

The company estimated that would be able to increase services by about 25 percent after the launch of Nangang Station, as the six railway tracks in the station can help increase the frequency of train deployment. Currently, trains leave from Taipei, which has only four tracks.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 05:21 AM   #439
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Thu, Feb 04, 2016
Taipei Times with CNA Excerpt
Cabinet streamlines policy push to 10

LAST ACTS:The Executive Yuan elected to leave the decision on when to open the airport MRT line and on the Linnei waste incinerator to Tsai’s incoming administration


The Executive Yuan yesterday said it would leave decisions on two major projects — the airport mass rapid transit (MRT) line and a waste incinerator in Yunlin County — to the incoming administration, while continuing to promote 10 major policies, including the Taoyuan Aerotropolis.

Premier Simon Chang (張善政) presided over a meeting to discuss 12 major policy items the Cabinet is pushing before turning over power to the new administration on May 20, when president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to assume office.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that participants at the meeting decided that the operation date of the MRT line connecting Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the Greater Taipei area, and the waste incinerator project at Yunlin County’s Linnei Township (林內) would be left to the new administration.

The Executive Yuan cannot determine whether the airport MRT line would be operational before May 20, Sun said.

While there is no cause for concern about the safety of the long-delayed line, its one-way travel time has yet to meet the 35-minute cap as stipulated in its contract, mainly because of problems with the signal integration system, the speaker said.

Sun added that the aim of the Executive Yuan is to complete the project, quoting Chang as saying: “We have given birth to a child, but it has to be raised by the Taoyuan Metro Corp. If the company refuses to raise it, it would render our efforts pointless.”

Sun said that the Cabinet would respect the company’s decision on the timing for inaugurating the line.
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Old February 16th, 2016, 04:29 PM   #440
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Construction to cause congestion on Taipei roads
15 February 2016
Taipei Times Excerpt



A severe test awaits commuters returning to work today after the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, as a new road construction project is to begin following the demolition of a Zhongxiao Bridge onramp next to the Taipei Railway Station, former Taipei City Government Department of Transportation commissioner Jason Lin said yesterday.

Forgive me for being pessimistic, but the New Taipei City Government already foresees traffic backups of up to 5km or even 10km on connecting roads to Zhongxiao Bridge, Zhongxing Bridge and Taipei Bridge at New Taipei Citys end, he said on Facebook.

In Taipei, commuters should expect traffic jams on Civic Boulevard, the Huanhe Expressway and the above-mentioned three bridges, he added.

Lin said completion of the demolition project on Saturday would increase traffic on Taipeis Zhongxiao E Road and Zhongxiao W Road, as two of three public works projects designed to alleviate such pressures have been delayed.

The opening of the MRT rail link from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, originally scheduled for 2014, would have increased public transportation available between Taipei Railway Station and New Taipei Citys Sanchong, Sinjhuang, Wugu and Taishan districts, Lin said.
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