Premier Su Tseng-chang on Tuesday announced the planned extension of Taiwan's high-speed rail to Pingtung during a visit to the nation's southernmost county to inspect transportation infrastructure. The premier emphasized that the planned extension is part of the government's efforts to improve Taiwan's competitiveness by building a dual rail network, with a high-speed line running the length of the western side and a modern railway line serving the east.
With a daily passenger count of 182,000, high-speed rail has emerged as a major component of Taiwan's transportation infrastructure. Premier Su said that the Pingtung high-speed extension is not simply intended to serve the 900,000 residents of that county, but is part of a vital, overarching plan for Taiwan that will boost development throughout the entire nation.
In the past the construction of major infrastructure tended to focus on the north at the expense of the south, the premier said. The southward extension of the high-speed railway will shorten travel times while shrinking the rural-urban gap and balancing regional development. Premier Su also explained that under the direction of President Tsai Ing-wen, the extension of high-speed rail to Pingtung County together with the railway service in eastern Taiwan will create a speedy round-the-island network providing people throughout the nation with a quick, safe rail ride home. This country-spanning interconnection will also increase competitiveness by integrating the transportation of people and goods and drawing ever greater global opportunities to Taiwan.