Wed, Feb 12, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Arbitration sought in airport MRT access row

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A Taoyuan Airport MRT train is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taoyuan Metro Corp

The Railway Bureau yesterday said that it is seeking to settle a dispute with Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp through third-party arbitration over the firm’s alleged failure to fulfill the terms of a contract for the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System.

The Airport MRT Line was launched on March 2, 2017, and approximately 80,000 passengers travel in the system daily.

However, the bureau said that it has yet to conduct a final inspection and acceptance of the project, as its signaling system has yet to meet the standards in the contract.

The Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) stipulates that a contractor should be required, by a notice, to make improvements for any item found not in conformity with the requirements specified in a contract.

Although passengers are able to travel from Taipei Railway Station to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 1 in 35 minutes, the contract states that the travel time must also include a one-minute stop at the New Taipei Industrial Park Station (A3) station for baggage transport, the bureau said.

Taoyuan Metro, the operator of the Airport MRT Line, is only able to operate the service in 35 minutes by delivering luggage by highway transportation, the bureau said, adding that the operator has failed to meet the operating standards by nearly one minute.

The system’s operating speed is not fast enough, it said, adding that in peak hours, the system is able to dispatch a train about every 12 minutes, rather than every 10 minutes.

“We are trying to settle the dispute with Marubeni Corp, the contractor that built the signaling system. If the MRT system fails to dispatch trains every 10 minutes in peak hours, it could still improve the system by raising the number of train sets. How we should settle the dispute will depend on the results of the arbitration,” bureau Director-General Allen Hu (胡湘麟) said.

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