Taipei Main Station to get new navigation system


So something appears to be happening about the confusing directions / navigation in Taipei Main Station.

Could have happened sooner if they just added better signs…


Hmm. Yeah, sure, that’ll work.

No idea what they’ve done to Taipei Station recently, but I swear it’s started to overlap into some parallel reality. It’s always been a bit confusing, but just lately I’ve started walking through wormholes and emerging behind myself.


This is the main problem imo. Hire a design firm, a good one, and make better signage. I shared the Mayor’s frustrations recently. I figured it out, but it was harder than it should have been.


The whole underground was intermittently designed and built with overlapping floors and levels and many ways to go to different locations. There is almost no way to overall change the layout and design.

The maps do a pretty good job of explaining but if you can’t read a map or understand where you are or where you’re going, no “smart system” is going to help that.

I predict it will make people more lost because it will just give directions by looking at display but once you leave that display and make a turn or two, you’ll be lost again.

If you look at the map and try to understand where you are and where you’re going, you’ll have a much better chance of arriving where you want to go and how to correct if you make a wrong turn, instead of trying to locate the next display.


I agree with @tango42 , no “smart system” is going to help with the system unless they’re going to hand out GPS units or install express moving sidewalks. Sometimes it really just comes down to someone who can and cannot understand a map or has a sense of direction.

I think, if you have a sense of what things are where above ground, you have an idea of where you’re going. For a tourist staying near main station, it’s doable if you’re staying multiple nights, but would be tougher for those in transit.

Nonetheless, still curious as to how this will turn out.


Interesting remark:

The smart system project would bring an end to the urban legend about “the big maze that is the Taipei Railway Station”



I like it the way it is now. Our circumcision clinic on the lower level gets a lot of walk-in traffic simply because people are lost. Most of the men that come in don’t even want to get circumcised, but once we’ve got them behind the curtain and strapped to the chair there’s no real way for them to refuse.


The first time I went there by bus by myself, and I had to get to the red MRT line, I was about to accept my fate and become a hobo. I’m starting to think the homeless people outside of the train station are simply people who gave up their life after getting lost in the dungeon.

To this day I still happen to get lost from time to time, even when I’m with my Taiwanese wife. The directions simply don’t make any sense in any language.


At least now I know that the subway is the MRT, and the trains are the TRA. The first time I was in Taipei Main Station I didn’t know that. Boy that was a mess. “I’ve got a train ticket. But where are the trains?!” I haven’t noticed the signs in a while … I hope they’re clearer for tourists now.

The connections between Taipei Main Station and the Q-Square (Q-Mall?) amuse me. I always successfully get between the two, although if I try to read a sign, it’ll take longer. But I’m pretty sure it’s a different route every time - so yes, there’s definitely a TARDIS effect happening there.


Even worse is TRA entrance is 10m across the way from the HSR entrance. I’m sure employees get people trying to beep into the TRA with an HSR and vice versa all the time.


The best way is to go through a side exit with NO SIGNS OF ANY KIND that’s between the MRT and the beginning of the Q-Dungeon. It leads to safety.



It might be a rumor, but I heard that Taipei Main Station’s layout is based on a hidden level from the original Wolfenstein 3D.


I just wish they would quit reorienting the maps on the walls and always put north at the top!

I always know where I am until I look one of the stupid maps they flip to the side or upside down and reoriented it so that North is not at the top and then I’m totally confused again.

Maybe the FIRST THING THEY should do is put all maps with North at top so everybody that look at any map knows where they are on that map.


agree. this is a good place to start. also shoot the imbecile responsible for it too.


It’s stupid to look at a map on one wall and then turn around and walk to the opposite wall and the map is reoriented upside down.


This sounds familiar…




Ah, that was last week. But everything subtly shifts at midnight, and today that passage dead-ends at a Starbucks. Tomorrow it connects directly to the HSR. Some pilgrims say that, when the moon and the stars perfectly align, for one day only it leads directly to the Blessed Outlet Stores of Linkou.

I should watch Dark City again.


The problem with Taipei Main Station is that the signs and directions are not that good between the different systems (MRT / TRA / HSR / Airport MRT).

One time I followed the signs to the Airport MRT and it directed me in a U-Turn away from the Airport MRT. One sign wasn’t placed properly and should have been placed on the opposite wall.