Sunday, January 29, 2012

Taipei Metro

One of my favorite pastimes when visiting different cities is experiencing the user-friendliness and usability of the mass transit system (typically metros). This is Nangang station near the east end of  Taipei.

A look at the exit on the other side of the street.  Here's a look from the outside; I was certainly surprised to find out it was a subway station since the exterior looked more like an industrial building.

The interior of the station was remarkably clean and spacious with clearly marked signs indicating where to go and how to reach the platform.

The interior of the train cars themselves were also quite clean and modern, much like train cars in Seoul.  The standing area was also quite spacious; ads were definitely not as pervasive as those in Korea.

One of the more interesting aspects of metros everywhere is how they depict your current location and the rest of the system map. Understandably, for systems where there are a multitude of lines, the horizontal space above the doors generally isn't enough space to fit the entire system map. Taipei's solution of putting intersecting lines to the existing one certainly helped to minimize any confusion. In addition, the electronic signs also helped highlight the exact station stop location - which can sometimes be quite useful for people not familiar with the system.

Of course, a fuller system map is also included for travellers to more fully plan out their routes.

If I remember correctly, this was inside the cavernous Taipei City Hall Station with some ads overlooking the train platform.  I was certainly appreciative of the fact that the metro had very handy maps near all the exits to help you get to your final destination.

Next stop, Taipei 101!

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