|From the MOTC's Railway Reconstruction Bureau|
Support for the line is far from unanimous. It would still cross through reservoir catchment areas, and near many old mine shafts. Environmentalists worry that it will damage relatively untouched ecosystems. At least one legislator thinks 18 minutes isn't worth nearly NT$50 billion, and that money would be better spent upgrading the TRA.
Some of these fears are certainly overblown- presumably this wouldn't be the world's first rail line built around old mine shafts. The key questions should be will the environmental benefit of fewer people driving be worth the damage caused by its construction, and will the line earn enough money to justify its cost. Though this line might save "only" 18 minutes, that should be enough to draw many people out of cars and planes and onto trains, boosting the TRA's revenue and cutting down carbon dioxide emissions. It could also obviate the need for future road and highway expansion. There's no way of knowing unless the government does a more complete study.