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Mayor Presents State of the City Address at Taipei City Council

Mayor Presents State of the City Address at Taipei City CouncilOn April 10, Mayor Ko Wen-je stood before the general assembly at Taipei City Council to deliver the State of the City address. Before he began, Ko presented flowers to the outgoing Council Speaker Wu Bi-chu as recognition for her 37 years of commitment to the city council.
The mayor began his address by citing a significant improvement in Taipei’s air quality, with PM2.5 levels dropping from 19.6 to 15.3. He noted that the introduction of electric buses is one of the city’s solutions to reduce air pollution, adding that the policy approach is to subsidize bus fares, instead of acquisition of bus fleets. The subsidy program is subjected to annual reviews to reflect the actual development of electric vehicle industry.
Regarding doubts over whether the introduction of the NT$ 1280 “All-Pass” would place a financial burden upon the City, Ko said actuarial analyses have been conducted and results show no financial risk with the support of other measures. As of April 7, 55,534 All-Passes were sold already, said the mayor, adding that the city government is observing how the program performs over three months.
During his presentation, the mayor remarked that it is better if MRT co-constructed buildings are station-mall complexes rather than co-existing with residential units. By leasing out spaces as commercial properties, the MRT can expand its sources of revenue beyond commuter service, said the mayor.
On the issue of cultural plans, Ko noted that five locations have been designated for urban eco museum projects, including Beitou, Dadaocheng, MRT Zhongshan Station Linear Park, Wanhua, and the southern Taipei area.
When speaking about inbound tourism, mayor Ko said while tourists from the mainland is on the decrease, the number of travelers from Southeastern Asia is trending up, showing stability in terms of headcount.
Regarding Inclusive playgrounds, he said that by end of the year, Taipei is expected to see a total of 36 parks with inclusive facilities. He also noted that the public sector should set aside budgets as a booster for developments in association with the designing industry.
When speaking of elderly care, he said the city government is trying to build a lasting and sound welfare system for the elderly and he admitted that there is still a long way to go.
At the end of his address, he stressed that Taipei will speed up the promotion of cash-free transactions and plans to implement digital payment in government agencies.