The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line is to begin the next phase of its trial run today, with free rides offered to the public for two weeks before commercial operations begin on March 2, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said.
From today to March 1, a maximum of 40,000 free rides each day from 8am to 4pm are to be offered to individuals, who will be required to first obtain numbered tags.
The tags will be distributed at all 21 MRT stations at 7:40am, 9:40am, 11:40am and 1:40pm, Cheng said.
An in-town check-in service for airport passengers will be available at Taipei Main Station during the trial phase, he added.
In the first phase of the trial, which started on Feb. 2, free rides between 8am and 4pm were offered to groups of passengers who applied in advance.
Cheng said he took a free ride on Monday, along with 350 representatives from the Taoyuan Mass Transit Corp, airlines and duty-free shops.
About 200 groups have taken the free rides each day and have given the line a satisfaction rate of more than 95 percent.
The number of riders reached 130,000 as of Sunday and was estimated to have risen to 150,000 as of Monday, exceeding original estimates of 10,000 per day, Taoyuan Metro Corp chairman Liu Kun-yi (劉坤億) said, attesting to the success of the trial run.
After the airport line officially opens, passengers will be offered a 50 percent discount during the first month of operation.
Trains will run from 6am to 11pm every day, the company said.
After that, commuters will be offered a 40 percent discount on trips if they buy a three-month pass, while a 50 percent discount will be offered for groups of up to 300 people, Cheng said.
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