The National Development Council yesterday approved a NT$1.92 billion (US$63.4 million) project proposed by the Greater Kaohsiung Government to extend its mass rapid transit (KMRT) system to Gangshan Station by December 2018.
The council is to submit the project to the Cabinet for approval and if it passes, the council will draw up a detailed plan for the extension, council Deputy Minister Hwang Wang-hsiang (黃萬翔) said at a press conference.
Hwang said the project would extend Greater Kaohsiung’s KMRT by 1.46km to the north, connecting the system with the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) train system and local bus routes at Gangshan Station.
To finance the project, the central government will provide NT$400 million, the Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency about NT$500 million and the Greater Kaohsiung Government NT$989 million, he said.
He added that the project would have a self-liquidation ratio of 70 percent, which means that when the line starts operating, it would generate revenue of about 70 percent of the money spent on construction.
However, the council rejected a second-stage expansion, which would require an investment of NT$23 billion to further extend the system by 11.76km to the north, linking it with the Gangshan Ben-Chou Industrial zone (本洲工業區) and Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學工業園區).
Hwang said the route of the second-stage project would run parallel to the TRA’s train system and it would have an SLR of just 40 percent, or generating only NT$9.2 billion in revenue during the operation period.