Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Songshan MRT Line on track for year-end launch

LATEST EXPANSION:The new line is to run between Ximen and Songshan and is expected to boost the number of people using the MRT by 2 million a day

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei MRT metropolitan railway system’s new Songshan Line is on target to be opened at the end of the year, Department of Rapid Transit Systems Commissioner Tsai Hui-sheng (蔡輝昇) said yesterday at a meeting on the management of traffic at Taipei City Hall.

Since the launch of the Taipei MRT in 1996, the system has expanded to 135km over five lines, with 47km of track added since 2007.

The new line is to add an additional 8.5km between Ximen MRT station (西門站) and Songshan Railway Station.

According to Taipei’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems, the Songshan Line must still pass two rounds of inspections before receiving final approval to begin operations from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

However, Taipei’s Department of Transportation has already drafted plans for changes to bus routes after the line opens, said Chen Wen-tsui (陳文粹), head of the Mass Transit Division of the Taipei City Public Transportation Office.

She said two new bus routes would be added, while nine would be adjusted and three shortened.

The Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems expects that within two months of its opening, the new line would increase the number of journeys on Taipei’s MRT system by 150,000 to 2 million per day, Tsai said.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin (郝龍斌) criticized the city’s police department, saying that he had seen police officers neglecting their traffic-directing duties during the morning rush hour.

“I have noticed some police officers leave their posts at 9am, even if congestion has not cleared up” Hau said, adding that officers’ rush hour responsibilities refer to a state of affairs rather than a fixed time period.

He said that there should be officers on-site at any traffic congestion lasting for more than 10 minutes.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top