Singaporeans love Taipei’s MRT, Ubike, night markets

Taipei--Taiwanese often praise the cleanliness and efficiency of Singapore, but are far less aware of things in Taiwan that impress Singaporeans, a local entrepreneur has said.

Joseph Chai (???), president and CEO of synthetic rubber company TSRC (??), a listed company in Taiwan, said that Singaporean Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (???) praised Taipei's MRT system in May last year.

Singaporean media reported that Khaw pointed out the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit System has a delay of more than five minutes every 80km. In contrast, Singapore's subway currently has one such incident every 16km.

As a result, Khaw has asked the two companies running the city-state's subway system -- SMRT Corp. and SBS Transit -- to visit Taiwan and learn from the experience of the Taipei MRT.

Chai, who was born and grew up in Singapore, previously worked as vice president, North Asia at Lubrizol Corp., one of the top 500 enterprises in the United States.

In addition to the highly reliable MRT system, the omnipresent YouBike in Taipei is another thing Singapore is looking to emulate, Chai said.

Singapore, with its small size and high population density, is plagued by traffic jams and as the city-nation mulls ways to makes itself more "bicycle friendly," the first place it has looked is Taipei.

In addition to the MRT system and the YouBike, the first place many Singaporeans visit in Taipei is a local night market, Chai said.

Although Singapore also has a lot of night markets, they are more like the night markets in rural Taiwan, with no fixed location or opening time, very different to the fixed long term developments in Taipei, Chai said.

He citied his niece as an example, saying she loves Taiwan's night markets and goes almost every night when she visits.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel