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34. Which systems – political, educational, transportation, etc. – in Taiwan would you implement in your own country

TAIWAN RAILWAY SYSTEM IN EL SALVADOR

Taiwan, a small island in the Asian continent, is amazing in so many ways. The people, the culture, the mix of different persons from everywhere around the world (and all of them, in a way or another, feeling in some point during their stay in Taiwan, that they somehow belong here and they are home), the infrastructure, the transportation system, and a long list of etc. I will ask for your permission of sharing my experience of living in Taiwan, and being more specific what would I like to implement in my own country, but first I will briefly talk about my country. I am from El Salvador, in Central America, a country with so many problems to be solved in many different areas. It is a small country as well (21,000 km2), and our population is of approximately 6.288.899 people. Among the problems to be solved, there’s one that takes special relevance and is the public transportation system, mainly in the capital city, San Salvador. One can say that our public transportation system is very efficient (a bus passes in front of a bus station every 20 seconds), but not effective for the whole traffic flow. There exist oversupply of buses. Just as simple as that. The bus transportation system is handled by private companies, not by the government. Another problem in San Salvador is the preponderance of individual motorized transportation (automobiles, pickup’s, motorcycles, Sub’s, etc.), added to the known oversupply of public transformation buses; those factors causes huge traffic jams over the most transited highways and roads of the capital city. So the question comes: what solution could be proposed in other to minimize this situation? It is very hard to don’t look at Taiwan’s public transportation system and think of implementing something similar in my country, specifically in the capital city. In 2011, over 863.4 million passengers used the rail systems in Taiwan, averaging 2.36 million passengers per day. Pretty impressive number, considering that San Salvador’s metropolitan area population is approximately of 2 million people. It is easy to imagine how many benefits it would bring to San Salvador’s traffic related problems, and of course, to the economy of the whole country as well. An advantage of El Salvador is that it already has a railway infrastructure (approximately 500 km of railroads), which means that some of them can be utilized to mobilize people to their destinies.

If I had the choice to implement one of Taiwan’s system in my country I would definitely choose the transportation system. During my journey to Taiwan there was so much going on in my mind and Taiwan’s transportation system was one of the least things I was worried about. Nevertheless, I became attracted to the cleanliness of the streets, MRT station and Buses. The streets are close to perfect for travelling because the roads were without pot holes and cracks. I would definitely consider Taiwan’s transportation system to be very effective, efficient and reliable.  MRT stations are open from 6am until 12 midnight and fair prices are quite reasonable. What is amazing is the MRT card which can be loaded with whatever amount of credit you would like and the idea that you can easily load the card by yourself or you can stand in line for a teller to load your card which can sometimes be time consuming. You can also add credit to your card at 7-eleven which is a plus because having choices to get things done that is fitting to one’s life style is a good way of keeping passengers satisfy. The MRT card is also a life saver because it can be used to purchase items at some convenience store such as at family mart and 7-eleven.

Comprehensive. Systematic. In my eyes, these two words perfectly describe the transportation system of Taiwan.
 
Affordable. Traditional. In my heart, these are two words that best capture the transportation system of my country, The Philippines.

Transportation greatly affects the efficiency and effectiveness of a country. It affects the delivery of goods and services and it affects the access of people to each part of the country. Ultimately, the transportation system of a country is its lifeline and bloodline. It serves as the “road to success.” It connects land to water and to air. It encompasses the entire facilities for movement or all things necessary and vital for the sustenance of life in the nation. Having said that statement, it can be presumed that a disorganized transportation system might very well lead to a disorganized country.

Organizing a nation’s transportation system is no piece of cake. It requires huge investment and entails time to make it very comprehensive. I must say, furthermore, that building our roads to success in the Philippines has been a challenged to our government for the longest time. Our geographic characteristic, 7,107 islands surrounded by vast bodies of water, mountain ranges, and volcanoes, presence of many fault lines as being included in the Pacific Ring of Fire, makes the process of building those roads even more challenging. In addition, if you have to include the economic status of my country for the past several years and our ballooning population, then, you can see the perfect picture of how much we have been struggling in trying to organize our transportation system. However, Taiwan’s current transportation system amazes and inspires me. Taiwan is a country which has somewhat similar geographic characteristic to my country and it was able to make its transportation strong and reliable. Taiwan was able to build a progressive road from the Northern to the Southern part of the country.