Ko criticizes "fanciful" round-the-island railway proposal

Ko criticizes "fanciful" round-the-island railway proposal (TVBS News)
Ko criticizes "fanciful" round-the-island railway proposal (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In response to the Kuomintang's (國民黨, KMT) ambitious proposal for a NT$2 trillion transportation project, Taiwan People's Party (民眾黨, TPP) Chair Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) expressed a cautious stance, particularly on the idea of constructing a round-the-island high-speed railway. Ko described the project as "somewhat fanciful," emphasizing the need for a thorough financial assessment before proceeding.

The statement came amid discussions on the KMT caucus whip Fu Kun-chi's (傅崐萁) proposed "Hualien-Taitung Transportation Three Bills," which aim to enhance the eastern region's infrastructure. With a deadline for passage set before the legislative session ends on July 16, the TPP has called for separate discussions on each bill, prioritizing support for the Hualien-Taitung Expressway.

A Long-Standing Issue

Ko highlighted the prolonged debate over the Hualien-Taitung Expressway, which has spanned 35 years since its first mention in 1989. He attributed the high number of traffic fatalities in the Hualien-Taitung area to inadequate transportation routes, underscoring the urgency of improving infrastructure to ensure public safety.

Financial Prudence Over Ambition

The TPP chair further clarified the party's approach to infrastructure projects, such as the extension of National Highway 6 to Hualien and the proposed round-the-island high-speed rail. Ko emphasized a step-by-step evaluation, stating that projects should only proceed after a thorough review confirms their feasibility. This underscores the TPP's commitment to financial responsibility and practicality over grandiose plans.