Airport MRT line trial to begin before Lantern festival, Taoyuan mayor says

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jan 12, 2017 - Page 3

Trial operations of the Taoyuan International Airport MRT line are to begin after this year’s Lunar New Year holiday and before the Lantern festival, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said yesterday.

The Lunar New Year holiday runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1. The Lantern Festival is on Feb. 11 this year.

The trial period is scheduled to last one month, with the system to be officially launched on its conclusion, Cheng said, adding that the line is to be open from 8am to 4pm over the period.

“During the first two weeks of the trial period, we are only accepting groups of visitors. Reservations must be made in advance. Individual visitors can use the service in the second half of the trial period. There is to be a cap on the number of people allowed to use the system per day,” he said.

Taoyuan Metro Corp is still working on a few issues that must be fixed before it can begin operating the system, Cheng said, adding that the success of these improvements would need to be verified by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Considering the time needed for the company to receive an operational permit from the ministry and to prepare for the trial operation, Cheng said that the pilot scheme would not begin until after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Passengers would be able to board the line for free during the trial period, and a 50 percent discount on ticket prices would be offered in the first month after the system’s official launch, he said.

Ticket prices for the line will range from NT$30 to NT$160, based on the ticketing scheme announced by Taoyuan Metro Corp last year.

The pilot scheme is for passengers to experience what it is like to ride the new line and not for those who want to travel abroad, so the early check-in service at Taipei Main Station would not be available, he said.

“During the trial operation, Taoyuan Metro Corp is to issue airport MRT memorial cards to celebrate the launch of the system. Passengers can also use the cards to travel on the line,” he said.

There are to be wireless power chargers for mobile devices on the trains and passengers would be able to use 4G and access Wi-Fi services while aboard, he said.

The line is to enable passengers to travel from Taipei Railway Station to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in less than 35 minutes, and to the high-speed rail station in Taoyuan in 10 minutes, Cheng said.