Region:
Asia
Category:
Society
Article type:
Opinion

ABC MUNDIAL in Taiwan: The Empire of the bikes and the amazing traffic in the streets

Region:
Asia
Category:
Society
Article type:
Opinion
Author/s:
By Pablo Pla
Publication date:
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A swarm of motorcycles flowing to one side and the other run by faceless people wearing masks and helmets in a city without traffic jams, no traffic jams would Esteban, a recent Spanish friend

To begin to understand how they can live and circulate daily Taiwanese without going crazy with traffic must start from a conclusion drawn after 10 days touring Taipei and other cities, is definitely another world. They have another lifestyle and approach things from everyday life, as can be from respect in traffic until economic projects for the country in the long term. The latter was actually what led us to Taiwan: the details of the Pilot Zone Libre economy.

It is a plan that began in 2013 and extends in time over 10 years. Expansion of ports, the largest airport in Asia, technology, science and a clear political position on keeping the most profitable relationships with the world and especially in mainland China.

But to achieve all that, behind Taiwanese citizens who behave in a special way and accompanying target. As we said from the everyday with an ordered society and the structure of the 5000 years of Chinese history.

The Capital Taipei, for example, has a modern Metro service that connects the entire city. Anywhere you can get this service in some sections is underground and in other goes above the streets open. Few Buses or collective circulating, compared to Buenos Aires. Many cars are also broad enough taxis and late model units, but the owners of the streets are more motorcycles and bicycles, although the latter to a lesser extent.

At a stoplight, which lasts 1 ½ minutes or more depending on the avenue, can be put together 50 or 60 motorcycles waiting for the green light to move forward. All with their respective town, some with masks (very common among people who walk in the streets) and respecting the traffic and pedestrians.

Bikes are available to people on the outputs of Metro to complete the sections to which fails or go to another line of Metro, all are connected, but sometimes it cuts way and time for some street shortcut. There are bike lanes, but do not share removing traffic lanes with cars. They are in the villages, where space permits. Bicycles are placed on supports with magnets that are released when the person puts Metro Card (like the SUBE of Buenos Aires) and it is available free half hour. To return the support placed in front again capture card to bring transport.

As for the Metro, is very modern and often has a rhythm that causes when you lower the platform, is reaching some training. They are clean, well marked and very enlightened.

Enter approaching the travel card to be released and step out again to place the card so the amount is debited according to the route.

The minimum value of a trip is 70 cents US dollar and to travel as far away from the center of $ 1.7.

A taxi ride in a car than in Buenos Aires would be luxury, provided with air conditioning, for a distance of 20 blocks costs 120 NT (New Taiwan Dollars), US $ 4.

Private cars are many, but not at the level of the bikes that are type scooter. Parking a car can cost US $ 1.5 hour and 8-hour stay between 10 to $ 12. Therefore the star of the streets are motorcycles that can be dialed free places left in such affection. It is full of parked bikes and walking. People leave their helmets on motorcycles without any string or element not stolen. And really not stolen. The bikes, helmets and even some other personal effects remain for hours on sidewalks and no one of the thousands who pass the touch.

Virginia Zubieta, one student Argentina 2 months ago came to Taipei to stay to study for two years, I realized that riding a bicycle's started following a motorcycle with intent to intercept it, I wanted to escape but the bike was faster. Wrapped in fashion offenders in Buenos Aires bike thought the worst. Actually a young Taiwanese handed the cell phone that had fallen to her several traffic lights behind. Really another world.

traslation: Belén Zapata