The newly completed Songshan line of Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system will begin service at 6am on Saturday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.
The line is an extension of the Xindian Line and has six stations between the two terminal stops: Beimen, Zhongshan, Songjiang Nanjing, Nanjing East Road, Taipei Arena and Nanjing Sanmin.
There will be three transfer points: Zhongshan Station will connect to the Tamsui-Xinyi Line, Songjiang Nanjing Station will connect to the Zhonghe-Xinlu line and Nanjing East Road Station — to be renamed Nanjing Fuxing Station — will link to the Wenhu Line.
Saturday’s opening has “absolutely nothing” to do with the Nov. 29 mayoral election, Hau said in response to criticism from independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) that the city government was being “mysterious” about the timing of the line’s opening.
Hau said the city made all decisions according to precedent, and had announced the line’s opening as soon as it passed safety checks and received formal permission to begin operations from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) general manager Tan Gwa-guang (譚國光) said the completion of the new line will help spread passengers throughout the MRT system, relieving pressure along the Bannan blue line.
All trips on the new line will be free during the first month of operations for EasyCard holders, with a 10 percent discount for passengers who switch between the Xindian and Tamsui lines, the city government said.
Meanwhile, the TRTC said that with the new line, the MRT’s broadcasting system will no longer use Chinese transliteration to refer to the MRT lines in English.
The Wenhu Line (文湖線) will be referred to as “Line One,” the Tamshui-Xinyi Line (淡水信義線) as “Line Two,” the Songshan-Xindian Line (松山新店線) as “Line Three,” the Zhonghe-Xinlu line (中和新蘆線) as “Line Four” and the Bannan Line (板南線) as “Line Five.”
Additional reporting by CNA
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