Taipei’s MRT Xinyi Line attracted more than 200,000 passengers yesterday on its first day of operation, with major stations including Daan Park and Elephant Mountain stations packed with visitors.
Passengers flocked to the stations along the line, which began operation at 6am yesterday.
Daan Park Station, with an open garden featuring artificial waterfalls and landscapes, was packed with visitors taking pictures and enjoying the views. The lobby was turned into a performance stage at night with concerts.
According to Ling Chi-yao (凌啟堯), director of Taipei Rapid Transit Corp’s public relations division, the ridership of the line reached about 200,000 as of 7pm, and the total ridership of all MRT lines increased to about 260,000 during the day.
Three hundred company staff members were on duty to manage the crowds and explain the transfer routes at 18 major stations, and free guide pamphlets were also offered at every MRT station, he said.
The 6.5km long line, which covers seven stations — Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dongmen, Daan Park, Daan Station, Xinyi Anhe, Taipei 101-World Trade Center and Elephant Mountain — integrates with the Tamsui Line and allows passengers to travel directly between Beitou and Elephant Mountain stations in about 35 minutes.
For one month, passengers who use an EasyCard are to enjoy free rides along the line, and can also get a 30 percent discount when traveling between the Chungho Line and part of the Tamsui Line between National Taiwan University Hospital and Beitou stations.
With a total budget of NT$39 billion (US$1.3 billion), the Xinyi Line was the second-most expensive MRT line in Taipei following the Chungho Line.
As the line passes through Taipei’s financial and business districts of Xinyi and Daan, the city government allotted a large part of the budget to the design of each station.
Daan Park Station, for example, cost about NT$14 million to design.