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The Mesmerizing Calm of a Massive Taiwanese Scooter Traffic Jam

It's controlled chaos of the highest order.

by Brian Anderson
Jul 14 2014, 4:05pm

All it would take is one person slipping up to set the whole horde of commuters on a crash course. But in Taipei City, where each day thousands of people hop onto scooters and head off to work, it's controlled chaos of the highest order.

Granted, many of the riders seen here have been braving this sort of commute for years. Alongside bikes, scooters are far and away the most preferred modes of transport throughout Asia, as Auto Evolution notes.

They're compact, and ideal for wending through traffic snarls like needles, threading. And they're quick at that; despite the 15-plus mile commute faced by your average Taiwanese scooterer, they can buzz from Point A to Point B and back again, much quicker than even a compact car. Plus, the upkeep is relatively cheap, comparatively speaking.

And so, shoulder to shoulder, they flow like water over bridges and through streets. Consider them stand-ins for frustrated commuters the world over, trying as they might to navigate urban milieus plagued by insufficient grids and skyrocketing populations. For most commuters, there's just really no other option beside the scooter. At least, until that techno-utopian plan to end traffic jams kicks into high gear.