Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Hau apologizes for new Neihu Line's teething problems

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) visited major Taipei MRT transfer station Zhongxiao Fuxing during rush hour yesterday morning and apologized to the city’s residents for the inconvenience caused by “false alarms” on the newly launched Neihu Line over the weekend.

Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) dispatched 100 additional staff members to the station, where crammed passengers transfer to travel to Neihu, Muzha, Taipei Main Station, Banciao or Nangang. About 90,000 people commute to the Neihu Science Park everyday.

The interval between trains was shortened from three minutes to 90 seconds, TRTC said. Approximately 324,000 people used the MRT system between 6am and 10am yesterday — the first working day after the Neihu Line commenced operations on Saturday — and about 9,000 people traveled on the Neihu Line during rush hour yesterday morning, TRTC said.

At about 8:30am, TRTC was forced to impose entrance controls at the station. During an inspection at the station, Hau said he was satisfied with the operations at Zhongxiao Fuxing yesterday morning as the majority of commuters transferring there had been able to get to work smoothly.

Hau said the city government expect 150,000 people to travel on the Neihu Line every day, but only 90,000 used it on the first day on Saturday. He apologized for the “the inconvenience caused by false alarms” that had plagued operations on both the Muzha and Neihu lines over the past few days.

Hau was referring to the suspension of operations between Xinhai Station and Taipei Zoo Station on the Muzha Line at 9:47pm on Sunday night. Operations were suspended for about an hour because TRTC’s computers detected security warnings, but the company later confirmed that the warnings were false alarms, TRTC general manager Tsay Huei-sheng (蔡輝昇) told reporters.

It took TRTC technicians 52 minutes to turn the electricity back on between the two stations, Tsay said.

“The Muzha-Neihu Line, which is unmanned, adopts a very high standard of security,” Hau said. “I will urge TRTC to improve the integration of its computer systems and improve its detection of false alarms in a bid to prevent similar problems from happening again.”

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