Friday, May 23, 2008

One Reason I Moved to Taipei

Nice to see Taipei's metro get its due.
Its only drawback is that it's a really small system- 67 stations, compared to 470 in New York. But even then it's so well designed that you can take it almost anywhere you'd want to go in Taipei. I'd even go so far as to say that it has character, if not as much as New York's. If they let musicians and breakdancers perform in the trains and stations maybe they'd catch up.
Beijing's subway, on the other hand, is miserable. Aside from being overcrowded, it's just poorly designed. The stations are deep and you have to walk through long tunnels to get to the platforms, transferring between lines takes forever. Stations are spaced so far apart you usually have to walk twenty minutes just to get to and from the stations. Trains are both short and narrow, and therefore overcrowded. There are few exits, and you often have to cross a highway once you get out. The result is that if you want to go less than 2 miles walking is often faster than the subway. Of course, coverage is so poor that you're usually going to have to take a bus to get where you're going anyway.

1 comment:

Bill said...

The Beijing system is deep because it is also functioning as a bomb shelter. The ability to sustain aerial bombardment was a major design factor.