Mon, Nov 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

TRANSPORTATION

South Link upgrade begins

A ceremony was held in Taitung yesterday to mark the beginning of the electrification of the South Link Railway, which aims to shorten the travel time between Taitung and Pingtung. Upon the project’s completion, travel from Taitung to Pingtung is expected to take 90 minutes, making it possible to reach Taitung from Taipei within three-and-a-half hours, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said. Shortening the ride between Taitung and Pingtung will complete a “full circle of happiness” for Taitung residents, Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) said. The 123.4km-long railway electrification project linking Taitung and Chaojhou Township (潮州) in Pingtung County is estimated to cost NT$27.9 billion (US$907.88 million).

CRIME

Officer disciplined over shot

A police officer who fired his pistol in anger into the air on Friday night will be disciplined, Taipei’s Wenshan First Precinct said. The policeman, Hung Hui-hsiung (洪輝雄), had asked to take 10 days off to take care of his ailing father in Kinmen County, but the request was rejected by his superior because of the precinct’s tight schedule ahead of local elections on Nov. 29. Hung reportedly stormed out to the parking lot late on Friday, fired his pistol into the air and yelled: “My superior is bullying me,” scaring his coworkers. The precinct said Hung, who had been honored as distinguished officer, was barred from carrying a gun and would face disciplinary action and a trial. Hung’s sister, Hung Juo-shan (洪若珊), who is the speaker of the Lieyu Urban Township (烈嶼) Council in Kinmen and is seeking re-election, said her brother’s superior was “callous” in turning down the request, but added that Hung Hui-hsiung’s reaction was “a bit irrational.”

TRANSPORTATION

345,000 rode new MRT line

Taipei’s MRT ferried about 345,000 passengers on its new Songshan Line on Saturday, the first day of its operation, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said yesterday. There are eight stations on the 8.5km-long Songshan Line, from Ximen (西門) in Taipei’s old downtown area to the eastern end of Songshan (松山), where passengers can transfer to nationwide rail services. The line opened at 6am on Saturday, operating free of charge or with reduced tariffs for EasyCard holders who enter or exit the eight stations during its first month of operation. About 725,000 riders received the reduced-price service on that day, the TRTC said. The 15-minute end-to-end ride is an extension of the Xindian Line, from Xindian District (新店) in New Taipei City, south of Taipei.

TOURISM

Kinmen envisions landmark

The Kinmen County Government expects a planned passenger service center in the Port of Kinmen to become a landmark, county officials have said. The Shuitou Passenger Service Center has been designed as a tourist attraction that offers transportation services, the officials said on Thursday last week. A budget of NT$1.87 billion (US$60.8 million) has been allocated for it, the county said. The international gateway was jointly designed by Japanese and Taiwanese architecture firms — Japan’s Junya Ishigami and Associates and Bio-architecture Formosana headed by Chang Ching-hwa (張清華) — to help travelers obtain efficient customs clearance and other services, the government said. It estimated that the building, to be completed by the end of 2017, will serve between 3.5 million and 5 million passengers annually.

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