Wed, Jan 22, 2020 - Page 2 News List

First section of Taipei’s circular line to officially open next week: DORTS

Staff writer, with CNA

A map of the new section of the Taipei MRT circular line is pictured in this screen grab from the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp Facebook page.

Photo: Ho Yu-hua, Taipei Times

The first section of the Taipei MRT metropolitan rail system’s circular line is to begin official operations on Friday next week with an opening ceremony at Shisizhang MRT Station, the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) said yesterday.

The 10am ceremony is to be hosted by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), as mayors of the cities served by the line, the department said, adding that train services would begin at 2pm and be free for a month.

The 15.4km line, comprising 14 stations, would reduce travel time by connecting Dapinglin (大坪林) to the New Taipei Industrial Park in New Taipei City via Sindian (新店), Jhonghe (中和), Banciao (板橋) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts, without passing through Taipei.

With the opening of the Yellow Line, as it also called, the MRT system in Taipei and New Taipei City would have six color-coded lines and 131 stations.

Eighteen transfer stations permit people to reach the 131 stations and ease congestion during rush hours, the department said.

The opening section of the circular line follows the Wenhu Line as the second automated line in the MRT system, it said, adding that the new section would be served by 17 medium-capacity trains manufactured by Hitachi Rail Italy.

The 68.5m-long trains have four cars and can hold 650 passengers, it added.

On the cars’ yellow exteriors is a distinctive design by French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux, who specializes in large-scale projects, the department said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Jan. 5 carried out a final inspection of the section and on Thursday last week gave its approval for official operations to begin, saying that all major issues had been fixed.

On Saturday, the section opened for free “test” rides, which are to continue daily from 10am to 4pm until the line officially opens next week.

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