The Executive Yuan pronounced a budget on the 23rd for the expansion of domestic demand through infrastructure building, including the design of the railway system, water resources and the environment, green energy, digital technologies, and urban and rural construction. All of the projects are aimed at the development of the future. The “Greater Taichung Shanshou Line”, “MRT Blue Line”, “The MRT Green Line Extension to Changhwa”, and related railway system construction are strongly requested by the Government of Taichung and have been put on the list by the Executive Yuan. In response, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-Lung expressed his gratitude for the support of the central government. He hopes he can quickly lay down the foundation for infrastructure of Taichung.
Mayor Lin started to advocate the Greater Taichung Circular Railway Network (Shanshou Line) 10 years ago. This project has finally been approved by the Tsai Ing-Wen Administration of Taiwan for execution. In addition, the “false BRT” has been reformed and successfully won the support from the central government in launching the Taichung MRT Network Blue Line Project. This project provides an extension of the MRT Line to Changhwa, which further materializes the joint governance of the Taichung-Changhwa-Nantou-Miaoli regions. The emergence of central Taiwan is imminent.
The upgrade of CCK Airport into Taichung International Airport, the approval of smart machinery capital pioneered by Taichung, one of the Five Major Innovative and Research Programs, the development of Wufeng Provincial Council as an international NGO, and the construction of a state-class Shuinan Exhibition Center in a joint venture between the central and regional governments have demonstrated the effort and determination of the central government to build up Greater Taichung. At this point, we can see that the major policy line of Mayor Lin, “Greater Taichung 123” (One Shanshou Line, Two Ports of Sea and Air Transport, and Three major centers) has already been translated into action.
The Taichung Government proposed the Shanshou Line, Circular Line Highway Network Integration, and the MRT Blue Line for building up a convenient traffic network for the public. The dual-track (concavity shaped) section linking Chenggong to Zhuifen was already approved by the Executive Yuan in October of last year with full budgetary support from the central government. In this project, the central government further approved the new railway linking Dajia and Houli (The Upper Rainbow Line), the elevated dual-track design along the coastal line linking Zhuifen and Dajia, and the elevated mountainous line linking Daqing and Wuri, will form the complete circular railway network of Taichung.
According to Taichung City Government, the Shanshou Line can elicit the development of Taichung into a multi-center metropolis and bond the lands on the two sides of the rail. In addition, the capacity of traffic volume of the coastal line of the railway is expected to improve and help save time for travelers and help to create NT$170 billion worth of economic benefit.
For the MRT Blue Line, it is designed to start from Shalu Railway Station to the west, passing through Taiwan Boulevard, and end at City Transit Center, linking Taichung Railway Station, Shalu Railway Station, the G9 Station of the Taichung MRT Green Line, and Chaoma, Zhonggang, and Shalu stations in the mass transit system. It will help to stimulate the development of industries and tourism along the railway, and is expected to yield NT$118.6 billion worth of economic benefit.
Wang Yi-Chuan, Director of the Transportation Department of the Taichung Government, suggested that Mayor Lin has made the best of his efforts to get the construction of the transportation network approved during his first term of office. The projects involved are several times more than the former government of Taichung accomplished in more than a decade. The pursuit of policy in a professional and integral manner has yielded positive outcomes.
In addition, Taichung City Government has also spelled out the major projects of “Integration of the Circular Line Highway Network”, “Green Water Garden Trail”, and “Central Taiwan International Center for Innovators” and wishes to get approval from the Executive Yuan for inclusion as an integral part of the frontier infrastructure program of the country. As for the “Circular Line Highway Network”, Taichung City Government will add ramps to Taiwan Provincial Line No. 74 and a smart traffic management system with the launch of the metropolitan circular line connection and the Taichung-Changhwa road network connection plan. This will help to improve accessibility to the metropolitan zone, the mountain and the coastal regions, and Taichung and Changhwa, through a high-efficiency and high-performance regional network for people and things that can be accomplished and the dream of a one-hour metropolitan life circle could come true by 2024.
After the integration of the Greater Taichung Circular Highway Network, the travelling time is expected to be reduced by 20% and traffic congestion is expected to improve by 15%. Likewise, the emission of carbon dioxide could be reduced by the same capacity as 10 Taichung Metropolitan parks or 35 Da’an Forest Parks.
For water resources and the environment, Taichung City Government mentioned that Taichung is a region with an abundance of water resources and the government plans to launch major improvement of the Mayuantou River, Meichuan, Luchuan, Liuchuan, Hanxi, Fazixi, and Chaoyangxi with the support of the central government to convert these rivers into a “Greater Taichung Green Water Garden Trail”. With the renovation of the waterfronts surrounding the city, the government hopes to create a space in proximity to the waterways for boosting up tourist attractions and demonstrating the soft power of the city.
Taichung City Government also plans the “Central Taiwan International Center for the Innovators” and expects to reserve the special zone for Taichung Railway Station to the trendy culture of the youth, innovation and creative teams, cultural creation workers, social residence, lodge house for youths, and others for joint development with the railway station for attracting private enterprises and international industries and creating a cluster of innovators in central Taiwan. The government is making efforts to earn the support from the central government