On July 10, Mayor Ko Wen-je reiterated the city government’s determination to transform Taipei into a smart city at the press conference for the signing of a contract to implement the “Smart Taipei Railway Station” project between Department of Transportation and Askey Computer Group.
According to Ko, Taipei Railway Station serves as a major transportation hub where the HSR, TRA, and MRT services converge – attracting a total ridership of approximately 500,000 to 600,000 per day. However, he pointed out that a better navigation system is needed to find one’s way around in the station, citing his own experience in transferring from AMRT to MRT.
Ko reckoned that transportation is one of the most important focus areas for the Smart City initiative, along with living, healthcare, education, and e-commerce. The city government has changed its approach from top-down to bottom-up in terms of policy implementation, encouraging the private sector to submit proposals for the government to decide whether the plans are viable or not.
During the Q&A session with the media, the mayor elaborated on his remark about the “openness” of the contract. He noted that the government should not place limits upon or set particular specifications for a new system. Transportation Commissioner Chang Jer-yang added that the Smart Taipei Railway Station project comprises only the requirements of service features, yet no specifications. This allows the contractors to develop applications under more flexible guidelines.
Ko reckoned that Taipei is drawing on the experiences from advanced cities to carry out the smart project, which is modeled on those of Amsterdam’s and Osaka’s.