Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) expressed confidence yesterday that the mass rapid transit (MRT) system’s Neihu Line will be operational by June next year.
The Ministry of Transportation inspection is scheduled for Feb. 18. When work began on the line in May 2002, the completion date was this year, but a number of construction difficulties forced postponements.
While inspecting a test run of the Dahu Park station segment of the line yesterday morning, Hau told reporters that he was proud to announce that the Muzha extension line from Zhongshan Junior High School to Nangang Exhibition Hall will be operational as scheduled on June 30 next year.
Once open, the travel time from Neihu to Taipei Main Station will be 28 minutes, while a trip from Taipei Main Station to Songshan Airport station will take 14 minutes.
The Neihu Line, which has 12 above-ground stations, connects the Zhongshan Junior High School station on the Muzha Line and the blue line that runs east and west across the city.
From west to east, the 12 stations are Songshan Airport, Dazhi, Jiannan Road, Xihu, Gangqian, Wende, Neihu, Dahu Park, Huzhou, Donghu, Nangang Software Park and Nangang Exhibition Hall.
The segments between Songshan Airport and Jiannan and between Neihu and Huzhou have already passed tests, and yesterday’s test from Jiannan to Huchou went well.
Thanks to the expansion of the network, Hau said he expected to see the total transport volume of the system reach 500 million.
As the trains will operate without drivers, the route will be controlled by a command center. Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) Director Tom Chang (常歧德) said that the Neihu-Muzha Line will have a total of 152 trains traveling at more frequent intervals than the Blue Line.
As the systems used for the Muzha line and Neihu Line are different, Tsai Tien-ho (蔡天和), director of the Systemwide Electrical and Mechanical Project Office at DORTS, said that it took a tremendous amount of work to integrate them.
To reduce the inconvenience to residents living in the vicinity of the line, Tsai said most of the test work was conducted at night.