Transportation is the foundation of construction, and energy is the foundation of economic development. In recent years, the Provincial Government has spared no effort in improving transportation and obtaining energy resources.
Other than pushing various transportation projects, planning public rapid transport systems and building convenient transportation networks, we are also working on the management of transportation operations to increase their efficiency. The final goal is to completely modernize facilities, systematize management, and up-grade the overall quality of public transportation services.
The total length of railways in Taiwan is 2,409 kilometers, with an average of 7.32 kilometers per hundred square kilometers of land area. Using 1991 as a base of 100, the railway freight index was 120.48 and passenger traffic was 114.71 in 1993.
Major projects currently in hand include: laying of double track on the Chunan-Fengyuan sector of the west coast mountain line; rebuilding railway level crossings into over-under crossings; harmonizing the round-island railway; con-ducting feasibility studies into running railways underground through the trunk line cities of Keelung, Hsinchu, Chiayi and Pingtung; coordinating underground track in Taipei and four-track underground lines between Wanhua and Panchiao with the Taipei urban mass rapid transit system; actively pushing ahead with the Taichung and Taman city railway underground construction projects, the Kaohsiung-Pingtung electrification project, the plan to move the Taipei and Kaohsiung depots eastward, and the procurement of 810 passenger transport cars. Other efforts include cutting back railway staff, improving the railway's financial structure, sponsoring joint development, expanding revenue while minimizing costs, improving the operational framework, safeguarding railway safety, raising the quality of railway services and enhancing operating efficiency.
Taiwan's highway construction projects include north-south highways, east-west highways, around the island highways, coastal highways, super-highways, and access roads. Under the principle of "equal emphasis on construction and maintenance," projects are executed on an annual basis to build new roads and bridges, eliminate bottlenecks, and repave asphalt to meet the needs of increasing transportation.
Major projects being carried out by the Provincial Government include: construction of the North-south Highway 3, the Hualien-Taitung Highway 9, the East Coast Highway I 1, the West Coast Superhighway, freeway interchanges and feeder roads, access roads for scenic tourist areas, the East-west Superhighway, repair and widening of highways, country roads, village roads and old bridge improvement works. In addition, the Provincial Government has also given assistance to motor vehicle transportation, regulated and improved bus operation, updated highway transportation regulations and strengthened supervisory functions to raise quality of service and increase capacity, and actively promoted privatization of the Taiwan Bus Passenger Transport Company as part of the government's economic liberalization and privatization policies to raise efficiency in the transportation industry.
The total length of highways is 20,159 kilo-meters at present. That is an average of 55.9 kilometers per hundred square kilometers. The highway network connects every port, airport, city, town, village, and even the remotest areas.
Taking 1991 as a base of I (X), the highway freight traffic reached an index of 125.55 in 1993, and the passenger traffic index was 82.82.
Harbor development must be in balance with local economic development and must meet the needs of both foreign and coastal shipping. Currently, the major projects are the construction of access roads on the east and west sides of Keelung harbor, the construction of Kaohsiung's No. 4 and No. 5 container yards, the removal of Hung Mao port, development of phase I of Taichung Industrial Port and the 2nd stage of harbor expansion, construction of phase I of the domestic shipping port at Tamsui, and construction of phase I of Anping commercial harbor.
Other projects are to establish computerized operations and an information system linking all harbors, to study concrete measures for improving the internationalization and liberalization of harbor operations and management, upgrading harbor facilities and equipment, expanding marine freight storage and transportation, and enhancing quality of service. It is also intended to upgrade loading and unloading efficiency, to develop more continental lines, and to increase the handling capacities of Taiwan's international Ports.
The average freight tonnage handled by Taiwan's ports reached 420,382 metric tons daily in 1994. The index was 113.92, using 1991 as a base of 100.
Taiwan's civil aviation has made consider-able progress in the past years. New airports and terminal facilities have been added. The opening of new international flight routes has already accomplished the goal of "global flights", passenger and freight operations have been overhauled, and polygonal operation has been adopted to raise service efficiency and strengthen international competitiveness. In addition, regulations have been lifted allowing private airline companies to operate, which has helped alleviate the pressure of heavy traffic.
Passenger traffic in 1 993 reached 31,328,5 1 0 persons with an index of 145.21. Using 1991 as a base of 100, the air freight traffic index was 119.45.
Telecommunications are extremely important to the development of an information industry and to future economic growth. Present emphases are to modernize telecommunications, to adopt new technology, to install new equipment, and to improve the quality and availability of telephones. An average of 50.5 telephones should be available to every 100 persons. At the end of 1993, there were 7,950,504 households with private telephones. There were 13,824 post offices as of Dec. 1993, an average of one post office per 1,5 15 people. Aside from regular letter and parcel de-livery, postal services also include banking, is-suing of money orders, life insurance, acceptance of payment for public utilities, and philately .
The fact that postal saving deposits have now reached an aggregate of US$60.91 billion attests to the people's confidence in the postal system. Furthermore, in order to provide businesses with better service, there are evening post offices in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. As of Dec. 1993 a total of 1,182 post offices were linked to on-line operational networks, while the wide availability of automatic teller machines to facilitate deposit and withdrawal services marks another step towards full automation of postal savings. Taiwan's post offices handled 1,845.77 million letters from Jan. to Dec. in 1993, a daily average of 5,056,882 letters.
To balance Taiwan's energy supply and demand, the government has diversified imported energy resources, accelerated domestic inland and offshore exploration for oil and natural gas, guided and assisted in mining management, and promoted the development of solar and geothermal energy resources in order to reduce the island's dependence on importation. To meet these requirements, the Taiwan Power Company is continuously developing new electricity sources, expanding equipment, and cutting the cost of operation. The completion of the Minghu Reservoir/Hydroelectric Power Plant ushered Taiwan into a new era of domestic power generation.
At present, the total installed capacity of Taiwan's 56 power plants is 19,354,725 kilo-watts, with 13.3% supplied by 35 hydroelectric plants, 60. 1 % by 18 fossil fuel plants, and 26.6% by 3 nuclear plants. Power output totaled 10, 178,391 megawatt-hours from Jan. to Dec. in 1993. Hydroelectric power accounted for 6.6%, fossil fuel power 61.0%, and nuclear power 32.4%.