Songshan MRT line might open this year: report

REJUVENATING TRIP::It is hoped that the new east-west Songshan MRT line will attract more commercial activity to the Nanjing E Road area

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Mar 04, 2014 - Page 3

A new underground line of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system should be operational by the end of the year, a Chinese-language media report said.

The east-west Songshan Line along Nanjing E Road was scheduled to be opened last year, but the launch was postponed after workers ran into obstacles under the ground, including historical sites dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

The line is scheduled to undergo stability testing later this month and then a stress test in June before being approved later in the year, Taipei’s Department of Rapid Transit Systems was quoted as saying by Chinese-language media yesterday.

The stations along the Songshan Line are receiving their finishing touches and improvements to the sidewalks of Nanjing E Road are expected to be completed by the end of June, media reported, adding that the sidewalk will be widened and will include a bicycle lane.

The 8.5km line, which is estimated to cost about NT$40.6 billion (US$1.34 billion), will have eight stops.

The city government hopes it will rejuvenate the once bustling Nanjing E Road area.

Formerly known as “Taipei’s Wall Street” because of its many financial institutions, the road is less busy these days because many financial and commercial activities have moved further east to the upscale Xinyi District (信義).

The new line is expected to be connected to the Xindian Line at Ximen Station and run to the end of Nanjing E Road in Songshan District (松山).

The Taipei MRT system opened with the Muzha (now renamed Wenhu) Line in 1996 and operates seven lines stretching across the Greater Taipei area.