Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Test takers protest weekend closure of Muzha MRT line

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The suspension of Taipei City’s MRT Muzha Line this weekend — and the rest of the weekends this month — drew complaints yesterday from many people registered to take the annual Japanese Language Proficiency Test. They urged the city’s Rapid Transit System Department to provide service for the test day this Sunday.

The department had previously said weekend service on the line would be suspended starting this Saturday to allow for testing of the integration of the Muzha Line and the Neihu Line so the Neihu Line can open as scheduled in June.

Complaints about the suspension, mainly from participants in the test, which will be held at various schools including some along the Muzha Line, have flooded Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) mailbox.

“The suspension of the service will cause traffic jams around the test locations on Sunday and will cause more inconvenience for participants from outside of Taipei,” one resident wrote.

Although the department promised to provide shuttle bus service along Xinhai Road (辛亥) and Jungong Road (軍? and increase the number of buses during the weekends at four major MRT stations on the Muzha Line, test participants said the traffic around the exam sites would still be crowded.

The test, held in Japan and other countries, evaluates and certifies the language proficiency of primarily non-native speakers of Japanese.

Many Muzha residents have also complained about the closure and urged the test runs be held at night.

The department said it was discussing the possibility of opening the line on Sunday, but a final decision would not be made until later this week. It said the suspension of the service was necessary to integrate the system, and the public can use the bus service instead.

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