Taipei embarks on grand cycling network initiative

Plan hailed as completing last mile of public transport for capital city

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (center) participates in 2020 Criteriums Taipei (Taipei City Government photo)

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (center) participates in 2020 Criteriums Taipei (Taipei City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) vowed on Sunday (Sept. 6) to move forward on a decade-long project to create a cycling network as part of the city’s bid to complete the “last mile of public transport.”

The mayor made the pledge when he fired the pistol for the 2020 Criteriums Taipei at Guanshan Riverside Park. The cycling event marked the first such race at the riverbank velodrome, which cost NT$18 million (US$613,000) to build and features specially designed curves.

Ko observed that marathon-running and cycling are popular sports in the Taiwanese capital. The number of marathons held in the city has been limited to 10 a year due to traffic control measures, but there are fewer restrictions on bicycle races.

Over the next decade, Taipei will push for two major cycling projects, Ko noted. YouBike2.0 will see the city’s bike rental stations expanded from 400 to 1,200 and a massive cycling network implemented on roads measuring 30 meters or more in width, he elaborated.

Making Taipei a sporting city has been at the top of the agenda for the city government, which is bidding for the right to host the 2025 World Masters Games and the 2026 Gay Games.

Himself a cycling enthusiast, Ko in 2016 completed a “twin tower challenge” in which he biked from the northernmost tip of the country to the southernmost tip — about 520 kilometers — in 28.5 hours. Through the challenge he sought to demonstrate his belief that perseverance prevails, he said.


Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je participates in 2020 Criteriums Taipei (Taipei City Government photo)