Fri, Feb 03, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Airport MRT line begins test run, offers free rides

Staff writer, with CNA

A group of people traveling on the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit line gives the thumbs-up during the line’s first day of trial runs yesterday.

Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times

The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line began trial runs yesterday, with free rides being offered to the public in two phases over the course of one month before commercial operations begin on March 2, Taoyuan Metro Corp said.

In the first phase, which is to run through Feb. 15, group passengers who apply in advance are to be allowed to travel for free between 8am and 4pm, the company said

During this phase, passengers are to be restricted to boarding and disembarking at only six of the 21 stations, which do not include the two stations serving Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, it added.

The six stations are Taipei Main Station (A1), New Taipei Industrial Park Station (A3), Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Station (A8), Shanbi Station (A10), Taoyuan High Speed Rail Station (A18) and Huanbei Station (A21), or north link, the company said.

In the second phase, which is to start on Feb. 15 and run through March 1, a daily maximum of 40,000 free rides between 8am and 4pm will be offered to individual passengers who obtain numbered tags at the stations at 7:40am, 9:40am, 11:40am and 1:40pm, the company said, adding that passengers will have access to all 21 stations during this phase.

Although luggage check-in services for airport passengers will be available at Taipei Main Station during the second phase, outbound passengers are advised not to use it until the line’s commercial operations begin on March 2.

The first trial run traveled from Huanbei Station to Taipei Main Station, with Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and Taoyuan City Council Speaker Chiu Yi-sheng (邱奕勝) leading about 160 local officials and residents aboard the new train.

Some people who rode the line described it as “the pride of Taoyuan,” while expressing hope that it would be profitable.

However, others said they felt uncomfortable during the journey on a windy section between Huanbei Station and Airport Terminal 2.

After the MRT starts commercial operations, passengers will be offered a 50 percent discount on all trips during the first month, the company said, adding that the trains will run from 6am to 11pm every day.

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