To overcome the transportation problems that frequently plague old communities, and to build a friendly transportation environment and promote use of areas adjacent to the Tamsui River, the city has expanded metro and bus systems, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and YouBike stations, resulting in a smart green transportation network.
Planning for the Taipei North Bus Station – Spurring Development in the Surrounding Areas
The city government plans to build the Taipei North Bus Station on a nearly 1-hectare site bordered by Section 3, Chengde Road to the east, Dunhuang Road to the south, the MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line (2號淡水信義線, No. 2) to the west and Hami Street to the north. Floors 1-4 will be used for the station and for bus dispatch, with a 330-square meter space on the first floor reserved for an employment service center. A portion of long- distance bus routes operating out of Taipei Bus Station ( 台北轉運站), Taipei West Bus Station (台北西站) and Yuanshan Bus Station (圓山轉運站) will be moved to the new station, and new routes will be added based on demand. In order to accommodate a future youth entrepreneur park that will be built nearby, floors 5-10 will house an affordable hotel and other facilities, while the basement will be used for parking.
Located within just a three-minute walk of MRT Yuanshan Station and a four minute drive of the Taipei Interchange of National Freeway No. 1 (國道1號台北交流道), the Taipei North Bus Station will benefit from its excellent geographic location. Cultural, historic, artistic, leisure and entertainment attractions located near this future transit hub will offer excellent commercial and developmental value. Due to the current lack of major commercial facilities located within a 2-kilometer radius of the site, the opening of the bus station is expected to serve as an economic spark that will bring about industrial development in Datong and the surrounding areas.
Comprehensive Public Transit Corridors – Improving the Public Transit Network
In spite of the existence of several metro lines located in Datong – the north-south Tamsui-Xinyi Line (2 號淡水信義, No.2), the east-west Zhonghe-Xinlu Line (4號中和新蘆線, No. 4) and the east-west Songshan-Xindian Line (3 號松山新店線, No. 3) – there are still areas to the west of Chongqing North and South roads which are further than 500 meters from the nearest metro station.
To solve this “last mile” problem, the distribution of YouBike stations will be expanded. With the opening of the Taipei North Bus Station, traffic on Chongqing North and South roads, a major Datong artery, will be improved though a reduction in the number of long-distance buses that ply it, a reorganization of east-west bus routes, and a review and a comprehensive improvement of all public transit services. Furthermore, shuttle buses that service MRT Yuanshan, Shuanglian ( 雙連) and Zhongshan (中山) stations on the Tamsui-Xinyi Line will connect to local tourist attractions, further improving the public transit network.
Phased Expansion of YouBike Stations – Strengthening Last Mile Transit Services
On July 7th, the cit y government announced a 2015 plan for YouBike expansion that will focus on increasing station coverage. Three sites in Datong – Dadaocheng Park (大稻埕公園) , the intersection of Civic Boulevard (市民大道) and Taiyuan Road (太原路) , and MRT Beimen Station (捷運北門站) – have been prioritized based on transportation demand, land use, construction projects and public opinion. Lunar New Year shoppers who frequent the Dihua commercial district along with tourists and other visitors can benefit from the new Dadaocheng Park station. The Civic Boulevard-Taiyuan Road intersection station, which is behind Taipei Main Station and near an MRT exit, also improves public transit services for shoppers and local residents via links to Yuanhuan Station and Taipei Bus Station. The new station beside MRT Beimen Station can assist metro users and those accessing Datong to the north or Wanhua to the south. In addition, each of the stations will boost the city’s bicycle network through expanded YouBike station coverage while also reducing traveling distances between different sections of the city.
Already home to 11 YouBike stations, Datong will feature 15 stations by 2016, putting users within 350 meters walking distance of a station at all times, regardless of where they are located. Further expansion is aimed at increasing the number of stations to 20 in 2017, or one every 250 meters, and 32 by 2023, or one every 200 meters.
Adding New Parking Garages
At the end of 2014, there were 33,000 vehicles registered in Datong but fewer than 19,000 self-owned parking spaces. The remaining 14,000 vehicles that park along roadsides and in public or private parking garages squeeze out temporary users and give Datong a bad reputation among drivers. The parking problems are a result of the many old buildings in the area that were constructed without attached parking facilities.
In Datong , there are currently 11 public parking garages, including four underground garages attached to parks and five underground garages attached to schools.
Over the short to mid term, the city government will continue to increase the number of off-road parking spaces at parks, schools and vacant public land. Initial design is underway for a garage that will be attached to Yanping Elementary School (延平國小) and provide 300 new spaces, as well as a public housing project planned for the Minglun Elementary School site, which will include extensive new parking facilities available to visitors.
Over the long term, parking facility standards for buildings will be determined based on zoning considerations. During the construction permit review process, new and refurbished buildings will be required to include sufficient parking spaces to meet demands of building residents and users. While Datong has added an annual average of about 1,000 new parking spaces in recent years, the demand still outweighs the supply. Regeneration plans will therefore seek to accelerate urban renewal and increase the number of parking spaces so that Datong can meet the parking needs of its residents and visitors.