Ridership on Taipei’s metro system reached a new milestone early yesterday, surging past the 6 billion mark 17 years after services opened, thanks to an expanding network covering densely populated Taipei and New Taipei City (新北市).
The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system opened in March 1996, with the Muzha Line servicing Taipei’s southern Wenshan District (文山).
Ridership reached its first milestone of 100 million at the end of 1998 after completion of a line linking Tamsui District (淡水) and Sindian District (新店), which passes through major residential areas, several business districts and downtown Taipei.
As the network expanded into Banciao (板橋) and Nangang (南港) districts, the number of passengers rose to more than 500 million in January 2001.
Helped by the launch of the EasyCard — a stored value card system of payment — and discounts given to travelers who transfer between buses and the metro system, ridership made a major leap to 2 billion in August 2005.
Ridership rose to more than 3 billion in February 2008 and to more than 4 billion in April 2010.
The opening of lines reaching Lujhou (蘆洲) and Sinjhuang (新莊) in New Taipei City added another 1 billion to passenger numbers in February last year.
Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said it aims to continue to provide quality services and even better links to different parts of the Greater Taipei area.
To commemorate the 6 billion milestone TRTC will be holding a concert in the plaza in front of Jiannan Road MRT Station on Saturday from 3pm to 9:30pm.
In addition to the concert, TRTC will hold a series of commemorative events and there is a “6 billion ridership” Facebook page.
Additional reporting by staff writer