Well its official, the Taichung BRT is going to have its last service run on July 8, 2015. Lin Chia-Lung, the newly elected mayor of Taichung City decided against dumping more money into this money pit of a project, thus saving taxpayers from investing more money into a complicated failure. From the beginning, there have been many flaws, some of which I covered in my original post back in September 2014.
The main issues mayor Lin saw were that the BRT was no faster than a regular bus and the useless massive control center. Lin was disappointed that the drivers are unable to contact dispatch when problems arose along the line. The technologically advanced control center, however, seemed only just for show and serves no function other than monitoring CCTV feeds of traffic and station activity. Other problems with the system included the BRT buses (specially designed Yutong ZK6180 articulated buses) that were constantly breaking down. The BRT line also had poor signaling that saw buses get caught up at stoplights, which slowed down the runs. So much for being a quicker way to get around town.
After July 8th, Taichung City will convert the BRT lanes into dedicated bus lanes, which will allow other city buses to use them as well. The BRT buses will now be freed up and assigned to address overcrowding on other routes. It is unfortunate that poor planning lead to the demise of the Taichung BRT in less than a year of service. Hopefully, future planners and politicians can learn from the past mistakes from this project and make something that is more functional rather than for show.
News from March 23rd about the pending closer and flaws of the Taichung BRT system.
Here are some pictures I took over the past year of the BRT: