Taipei, March 4 (CNA) Taipei's mass rapid transit (MRT) system islikely to join an elite global network of metro transit providersthis September after its annual ridership surpasses the 500 millionthreshold required for the membership, said the Taipei Rapid TransitCorporation (TRTC) Friday.
The company said that after the system's new Luzhou Line startedoperating last November, daily ridership has reached 1.5 million,which is one of the major criteria for entry into the internationalmetropolitan railways consortium Community of Metros (CoMET).
"Being a member of CoMET will allow us to carry out technicalexchanges with the world's major metro systems in cities such as NewYork, Moscow and Beijing, " said the company's spokesperson LingChi-yao.
Ling said the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre of ImperialCollege London, which oversees the consortium's membership, willreview Taipei MRT's application at CoMET's annual meeting later thismonth in New York.
Meanwhile, the MRT's new Nangang eastern extension, which beganoperations last week, has increased the network's daily ridership by16,306, which Ling said is a satisfactory start for the company'smost recent effort to provide better transfer service.
The extension, which connects the Bannan and Wenhu lines via theTaipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station, replaced a shuttle bus thatferried passengers between the two lines before the railwayconnection was built.
Taipei MRT estimates that the upgrade saves riders an averagetravel time of between 8.5 and 10 minutes to make the transfer.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)