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MRT extension helps traffic during Computex: officials

2011/06/04 21:34:52

Taipei, June 4 (CNA) Officials of the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit(MRT) system said Saturday the network's Nangang eastern extension,which started service this February, received positive feedback inferrying crowds to and from venues during the 2011 Computex Taipei.

The world's second largest ICT trade show, Computex has a totalof five venues -- the downtown Taipei International ConventionCenter, Taipei World Trade Center halls 1, 2 & 3, and the suburbanNangang Exhibition Hall.

Before the city connected the MRT's Nangang Line and Wenhu Lineat the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station, visitors to theannual Computex had to use a combination of the MRT and a shuttle busto make the journey.

They could also choose the shuttle bus service provided by theorganizers but were likely to spend an extra 20 minutes in frequenttraffic jams.

To encourage more efficient traveling through the MRT's expandednetwork, Computex combined for the first time its buyer pass andEasyCard -- the popular stored value card used to pay transportationfares in Taipei.

The campaign was effective, according to officials from TaipeiRapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) , who said passenger volume betweenMay 31-June 4, when the Computex was held, was about 110,000 as of 4p.m. Saturday.

That represented an increase of 40,000 passengers from theprevious week, the TRTC said.

Still, some foreign visitors said there needed to be moreeye-catching signs leading them to the MRT stations.

Luis Selfa from Spain, who took the shuttle bus during the show,said he would have chosen the new MRT service if he had known how toreach it.

"Looking back, it would have been really helpful to take thesubway when we were trapped in the traffic jam in the rain," he said.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)