In the wake of last Friday''s deadly train crash, calls are growing for reforming the Taiwan Railways Administration. On Wednesday, lawmakers blasted the 70-year-old railway operator for its bureaucratic culture and lackadaisical approach to safety. Speaking at the DPP headquarters, President Tsai Ing-wen vowed a sweeping overhaul of the TRA''s work culture and to improve its bottom line.

The atmosphere was somber at the DPP Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday, as officials observed a moment of silence for the victims of the Taroko Express crash. President Tsai pledged to reform the TRA.

Tsai Ing-wen
Reforming the TRA is a necessary step. Currently the main task is to completely resolve the problems with the TRA’s organizational culture. Secondly we have to work toward addressing the TRA’s longstanding financial losses.

The first order of business is improving the culture and tackling the rail operator’s billions of dollars of debt. Then it’s revisiting the question of whether the TRA should be privatized. Tsai said her administration was determined to reform the TRA.

Tsai Ing-wen
Do not doubt the government’s commitment to reform. Over these past five years of our administration, the government has carried out many reforms successfully, demonstrating that we are not afraid of tackling touch issues in the course of reform. This is the attitude we will have when dealing with the TRA. All the people of Taiwan deserve to have a safe way to get home. Reforming the TRA is our unshirkable responsibility.

Calls for a rehaul are also ringing in the Legislative Yuan.

Chen Ming-wen
DPP lawmaker
From 2015 to 2019, the TRA averaged 500 malfunctions each year. This is ridiculous. You know that right? Are we being fair to the people of Taiwan?

Chen Su-yueh
DPP lawmaker
When will the Transportation Safety Board’s report be released? In three months or in six months?

Yang Hung-chih
Transportation Safety Board
The report with factual data, we should be able to have that within three months. But the final report will take 14 months.

Hsu Shu-hua
KMT lawmaker
Minister, would you recommend setting up a task force within the Executive Yuan to review the TRA probe?

Lin Chia-lung
Transport minister
I believe the task force can be established under the Executive Yuan. Its work can be led by the Executive Yuan, with participation across government departments.

Ruling and opposition lawmakers pushed government officials for the truth of what caused the crash. In the wake of the deadly rail accident, TRA is facing a chorus of calls for change.