TAIPEI, TAIWAN - The new Taipei City Hall Bus Station opened yesterday, and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin urged staff at the terminal to copy successful "convenience stores" by providing the maximum convenience and satisfaction to commuters.
Apart from some congestion when people were rushing to downtown districts for work in the morning, officials at Taipei City Government said they were satisfied with the flow of traffic outside the station at the intersection of Section 5 of Zhongxiao East Road and Keelung Road.
They gave credit to the large number of volunteer traffic guards and police guards who were on hand to help guide the large number of commuters.
Flexible measures were taken to cope with the visitors going to the 2010 Taipei Computer Applications Show being held at the Taipei World Trade Center's Exhibition Hall 1 that will run through Aug. 9, said the officials.
The new bus station is integrated with the City Hall Station of the Nangang MRT line, plus a new hotel and a department store.
Buses serving 19 routes leading to major cities and townships in northern and central Taiwan started moving the passengers following an opening ceremony at 10.30 a.m.
The transport capacity is expected to increase to around 10,000 commuters each day and reduce the transport load at the Taipei Bus Station (TBS) adjacent to the Taipei Railway Station, the officials said.
Mayor Hau said he expects the service at the new bus station will run more smoothly to boost the capacity to the top level in about one week.
He said the opening of the TBS last year helped inject new vigor into the commercial districts in Western Taipei.
The new bus station will boost business in the already bustling eastern region of Taipei, he said.
The service hours at the new bus terminal start from 5 a.m. and finish at 1 a.m. the following morning.
The bus services lead to Keelung, Reifan, Jinshan, and Yilan in the north. To the south, commuter buses carry passengers to major cities like Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, and even to Tainan City in the southern part of the island.
Officials advised bus commuters to visit the Website of the eastern station - www.estation.com.tw - for regular bus schedules and possible changes in the timetables.
People using the bus terminal will also be able shop at the Taipei store of the Hankyu Department Store at the same complex from October.