The Taipei City Government yesterday announced it would suspend operations on the Muzha-Neihu Line in the morning today and tomorrow for a system inspection.
The line is to be closed from 6am to 11am today and tomorrow, with free shuttle buses running between the line’s stations until 12pm, Taipei City Secretariat Deputy Director Tan Gwa-guang (譚國光) said, in his role as director of the Neihu-Muzha Line emergency response team.
Yang Chin-shu (楊金樹), chief secretary of the Transportation Department’s public transportation division, said that free Red Line shuttle buses run between Linguang Station and Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station, while Green Line buses run between Taipei Zoo Station and Songshan Airport Station.
Tan said the decision to shut the line was made in accordance with a first-phase system improvement plan presented by system builder Bombardier Inc.
The company asked for a longer period of time to inspect the system and solve its problems, which include an overly sensitive safety system that has caused frequent false alarms and malfunctions.
“We hope the public will support our improvement plan and be tolerant during the two days,” Tan said.
The city government chose to test the system today and tomorrow because it carries fewer passengers during those periods, he said.
The announcement was made after Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) acknowledged on Thursday that problems with the system were more serious than previously thought and that the city government would consider suspending the Muzha-Neihu MRT line for a thorough inspection.
Tan said the second-phase improvement plan would include strengthening the system’s resistance to lightning strikes.
July 4: The Neihu Line opens. False alarm causes a train to make a sudden stop between Xinhai and Linkuang stations for about 15 minutes. Some doors malfunction.
July 5: Signal malfunction causes trains to stop away from stations.
July 10: Sudden power outage leads to system shutdown shortly before 3:30pm. Service does not resume until the next day.
July 21: Doors on a train do not close for more than seven minutes at Wanfang Hospital Station.
July 25: Train doors do not close at Gangqian Station.
July 29: False alarm at Nanjing E Road Station causes a seven minute suspension of services.
Aug 3: Signal malfunction at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station causes train doors to malfunction for about four minutes.
Aug 6: System shutdown for more than four hours because of a network system malfunction.
Aug 12: A circuit malfunction at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station causes services to be halted for about two hours.
Tan declined to comment on whether the city government would still consider halting operations on the line for a longer period of time, but said it would prioritize the interests of passengers when discussing possible solutions.
Bombardier has proposed a comprehensive improvement plan to raise the system’s reliability to 99 percent by mid-November, Tan said.