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Taichung fast-tracks bus rapid transit

Taichung, Taiwan has launched an extensive bus rapid transit system to help reduce traffic congestion while it builds a metro rail system. (準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia/flickr/cc)

Underscoring the growing popularity of bus rapid transit in Asia, Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan, is among the latest global metropolises to introduce service. 

Chi-hao James Lo reports for The China Post that 11 of 21 planned stations opened in late July, with the remainder to debut this month. The buses operate from 6 a. m. to 11 p. m.

Service is initially free to encourage citizens to get accustomed with the network, the article says. The BRT system is designed to help alleviate traffic congestion as Taichung continues to construct a metro rail system. Asia is considered the next major market for BRT after Latin America, where the idea originated, and Europe. 

The article notes that some critics think the city should have waited to complete the BRT system before inaugurating service. After riders complained about disembarking onto busy roads, city officials made tweaks designed to enhance safety. 

Read Citiscope’s interview with BRT expert Walter Hook on new directions of the 40-year old transit idea here.

China Post

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