Work on the second phase of Kaohsiung’s circular light rail line system is to resume immediately after being suspended since 2018, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday after he ordered that the new line begin commercial runs by 2023.
His announcement came after the city’s transportation and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) officials and its MRT engineering team conducted a month of traffic simulations on the unfinished section.
The simulation found that road improvement plans would resolve potential problems raised by residents living along a controversial 7.3km section of the new line, including noise and traffic congestion concerns, Chen said.
A 8.7km section that serves the port and areas southeast of the city center was completed in 2015, and work began on the second phase, a 13.4km stretch through the northern and eastern districts, in 2016, with a completion date of the end of last year.
However, work on some sections was suspended in 2018 after residents protested, leading to the completion date being pushed back until June next year.
The Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit Bureau said the light rail line has served a total of 11.72 million passengers as of the end of August.
In other transportation developments, the Taichung City Government said that the first line of its mass rapid transit (MRT) system would open for a trial run on Monday next week.
Passengers would be allowed to ride for free during the 30-day trial, using their EasyCard or other electronic tickets, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said.
Until Dec. 6, the MRT system would operate between 7am to 8pm daily, with trains running every five minutes during peak hours and every eight minutes during off-peak hours, Taichung Mass Rapid Transit Co said.
Starting on Dec. 7, the system would begin its normal 6am to midnight service, it said.
Fares, starting at NT$20, would be charged starting on Dec. 16, and a formal opening held on Dec. 19, the company added.
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