There are a few recent articles on transport issues that I would like to comment on.
I snapped this photo of a green electric bus in Taipei on 1 January. The bus is currently being shown at an international conference on vehicle greenhouse gas reduction technologies in Taipei. It runs on a Li-ion battery that gives it a range of 300 to 400 km per charge. The bus is expected to go into mass production next year.
* * * * *
Taipei’s Songshan Airport has been in the news this week. Stanley Yen, president of the Landis Hotels Group, proposed that the airport be redeveloped as a park. He also noted that this would create many opportunities for property development as height restrictions on buildings around the airport could be removed.
The idea is not new. It was proposed by Lee Ying-yuan and Frank Hsieh when they were the DPP candidates for Taipei Mayor in 2002 and 2006 respectively. I have also discussed the issue on this blog saying the airport should be closed and noting the decline of Taiwan’s domestic aviation industry.
It seems the government has other ideas though. Songshan has serviced Taiwan-China routes since July last year. Now the Ministry of Foreign affairs has announced plans for flights between Songshan and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport starting from October 2010.
Sadly it seems that convenience for business travellers is considered more important than quality of life for Taipei City residents.
* * * * *
The Taipei Times notes plans for a Keelung-Penghu-Xiamen ferry service. If approved Ocean LaLa, operated by Taipei-based Excalibur International Marine Corp, would have four return services per week on the route.
This follows the Ministry of Transport earlier giving permission to Star Cruises to operate cross-strait cruises. However, there was some dispute over whether these cruises would be considered passenger services.
I think that ferries linking Taiwan with China are an interesting idea. I would like to see a study conducted comparing the greenhouse gas emissions of ferry services compared with air travel.