Taiwan Railways Administration officially revokes ban on sitting in lobby

Taipei Main Station lobby floor transformed overnight, smiley emojis added

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Sitting on Taipei Main Station lobby floor no longer banned. 
Sitting on Taipei Main Station lobby floor no longer banned. (TRA photo)

Sitting on Taipei Main Station lobby floor no longer banned.  (CNA photo)

Sitting on Taipei Main Station lobby floor no longer banned. (TRA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) announced Sunday (July 12) that its plan to indefinitely prohibit sitting on the Taipei Main Station lobby floor has officially been withdrawn after the proposal faced much opposition.

After revealing the new look of the Taipei Main Station lobby, which was transformed overnight on Saturday (July 11), the TRA said it would serve as a public space that highlights Taiwan's diversity and acceptance of different cultures. The station lobby floor is now covered with smiley emojis and the word "smile" in 10 different languages.

The TRA said it had secretly carried out the transformation late on Saturday after the public transportation service had finished its operation for the day. It added that approximately 40 more seats would be installed in the station for commuters to rest and socialize, provided that they do not obstruct passersby.

The TRA noted that the decision was made after several panel discussions with civic groups, non-governmental organizations, and public space experts. It also welcomed residents of Taiwan to fully utilize the area, stressing that all groups and individuals are welcome, reported Liberty Times.

Since the TRA announced in May that it was considering making its moratorium on congregating in the lobby permanent, the proposal has been met with as much opposition as support. Some individuals have expressed disappointment over the potential ban, while those who favor the policy have questioned the appropriateness of treating a major public transportation hub as a social milieu.