A gathering and sitting ban was imposed on the lobby of Taipei Main Station a while back due to COVID-19. There were later rumors that the sitting ban would be permanent, sparking controversy. After hearing everyone's opinion, Taiwan Railways decided to use smiley floor stickers to create a "friendly" environment.
The lobby of Taipei Main Station has a new look with smiling, laughing and blinking emoji floor stickers and the word "smile" written in a dozen languages including Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Indonesia, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and indigenous dialects. Many tourists are stopping to snap photos of the floor.
We come here to hang out with our friends. We all sit on the floor together.
We have done such a good job with epidemic (prevention), and we need to open (the lobby) to these people who have spent the epidemic period in Taiwan. At this stage, everyone is in the same boat. Sometimes we all need to smile and get things off our chest.
Taiwan Railways imposed a ban on gathering and sitting on the lobby floor a while back due to the pandemic and there were later rumors the sitting ban would be permanent. There was both support and opposition to this, as migrant workers often congregate in the lobby on their days off. This led to some groups saying the station was an "unfriendly" landmark.
In response, Taiwan Railways discussed the issue with civic groups and decided the space should be designated for public use and civic participation. The first step it took to achieve this was sticking smiley stickers on the floor to show the station's diversity, friendliness, and tolerance.
In principle, (the lobby is a) public space for public use. Our goal is to create a friendly environment and we welcome all travelers to use the space as they see fit.
Taiwan Railways says everyone can find their own space inside the station and Taipei Main Station will prove it is a culturally diverse and ethnically friendly landmark over time by adding more seats and opening to non-profit and charity events.