TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Local TV network PTS (公視) reported that New Taipei City has set up "clean air roads" where diesel and two-stroke scooters may be fined.
New Taipei City's Banqiao (板橋), Zhonghe (中和), Sanchong (三重) and Xinzhuang (新莊) are densely populated and bisected by important traffic routes, and their concomitant air pollution. From August some sections of road have been designated as "clean air sections". Any diesel vehicles and scooters with two-stroke engines that have emissions over PM2.5 standards that drive in these sections of road will be fined NT$2,000 (US$66).
In New Taipei City, the population is dense and the roads crowded, even before the rush hour starts, intersections are often choked with vehicles, causing heavier air pollution.
In line with central government policy and to strengthen pollution management, the New Taipei City Government announced some clean air areas on certain road sections. These are in Banqiao, with the New Taipei City Government offices as the center, Zhonghe, near the National Highway 3 Zhonghe interchange (國3中和交流道), and roads around Sanchong Stadium (三重體育場) and Xinzhuang’s baseball stadium (新莊棒球場).
Diesel vehicles and scooters with two-stroke engines in these areas which have emissions over standard, will be fined NT$2,000 for driving along these sections of road. Commissioner of NTC’s Dept. of Environmental Protection, Liou Her-ran (劉和然), interviewed by PTS reporters, said that two-stroke scooters produce 60 times the pollution of four-stroke motors, which is ten times as much hydrocarbons.
There are 2.18 million scooters in New Taipei City, not counting those that enter from outside the area. There are over 1 million cars. About one third of the area’s PM2.5 pollution comes from ambient sources.
The city government said it had cooperated with academics and used buses' GPS, eTAGs and even Google Map from people's mobile phones to analyze which were the traffic hotspots.
An academic from NCTU Dept. of Transport and Logistics Management, Asst. Prof. Wang Ching-yuen (王晉元) said that New Taipei City's Transport Dept. had cooperated with phone companies so that information could be gathered from anyone who had their mobile phone turned on for an hour. A moving position could be obtained from phone calls, Line messages and Facebook, so that peoples' and thus traffic movement patterns, became apparent.
PTS raised the question that the New Taipei City Government accessing this information on peoples' movement from phone companies may have some information leak loopholes, but the Dept. of Transport said they did not look at individual's records but took general samples for analysis.