Charging for Scooter Parking in Taipei City Raises Controversy

Charging for Scooter Parking in Taipei City Raises Controversy
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je indicates that the government will not administer the policy to all the scooter parking spaces in the city in the next two years. Ko says that if scooters are a cheaper and more convenient mean of transportation, no one would want to take public transportation, so it is necessary to improve the efficiency of public transportation before dealing with the problems of motorcycles.

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It was reported recently that the Taipei City Government is considering charging a fee for all scooter parking spaces in the city, which caused some questions regarding whether the government is trying to obliterate motorcycles on the streets.

Chung Hui-yu, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, says that the government will organize a civic forum on January 17 and invites scooter riders to participate. Scooter parking spaces around train stations, MRT stations and business areas will start charging fees in June.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je indicates that the government will not administer the policy to all the scooter parking spaces in the city in the next two years. Ko says that if scooters are a cheaper and more convenient mean of transportation, no one would want to take public transportation, so it is necessary to improve the efficiency of public transportation before dealing with the problems of motorcycles.

CNA reports, Chung says that the government will first tackle safety issues and lack of parking spaces. Meanwhile, they will add more parking spaces in alleys and lanes. Chung also says that since the government did not manage the public transportation system in the city well, the utilization rate of the system is lower than 40%, even though Taipei has one of the best public transportation systems in the world.

Tung Chien-yi, chairman of The Motorists’ Party of R.O.C., says that he supports the idea of charging for parking scooters around business areas, but it would be unreasonable to charge anywhere beyond these places. He also says that if the government wants to impose the policy, it should set a maximum of NT$50 (approximately US$1.51) and cannot charge more than this amount; otherwise, the government might face backlash from citizens.

China Times reports, Chung says that they will draft a plan of providing subsidies for motorists from low-income families in the future. The plan can even be extended to provide them with free access to public transportation.

Currently, the operation of city buses are subsidized with NT$200 million (approximately US$6.02 million) by the government. If the government starts to charge a fee for all scooter parking spaces in the city, the subsidies could be given to citizens in real need.

Chung says that the subsidiaries could be people from low-income families and a monthly-rationed points will be added to their EasyCards, which is similar to the policy that allows the seniors citizens to take buses without being charged, yet the details of this remain to be discussed. The Department of Social Welfare estimates that 22,000 households will register as low-income families in Taipei this year.

Apple Daily reports, Chung clarifies that these measures are not intended to obliterate motorists from streets. It is their future goal to charge a fee for parking scooters. They will organize a symposium to talk to motorists this month, report to the mayor in March, finalize the plan probably in June, and announce the areas subject to charge and other details in the second half of the year.

Hsieh Ming-hung, director of Taipei City Parking Management and Development Office, says that scooter-parking fees will not be limited to charging per time. They might consider charging based on how long a scooter has been parked with a maximum ranging from NT$60 to NT$70 (approximately US$1.81 to US$2.11) per day in busy business areas.

Translated by Bing-sheng Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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