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Kaohsiung plans to build third MRT line within 8 years

2017/04/21 20:58:20

Kaohsiung, April 21 (CNA) Kaohsiung, the largest city in southern Taiwan, has drafted a plan to construct a third line for its mass rapid transit (MRT) system within an eight-year period, according to Wu Yi-lung (吳義隆), director of the city's Mass Rapid Transit Bureau.

The planned line, which will be coded as the yellow line, will help create a "seamless" mass transport network incorporating the MRT, light-rail and railway lines in the city, Wu said on Friday.

He was delivering a briefing on the project to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who was on a visit to inspect the port city's transportation infrastructure.

According to Wu, the planned yellow line will run through six of the city's 38 districts and will be 21.2 kilometers in length. Upon completion, the new line is expected to serve over 1 million people.

Wu pledged to build the new line within the eight-year period, noting that the project has been delivered to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for review.

According to the bureau, the Kaohsiung Metropolitan Area Mass Rapid Transit System (KMRT) is presently composed of two MRT lines -- red and orange -- and an under-construction light-rail circular line.

The total length of the three lines amounts to 66.7 km.

Due to its low coverage and the lack of efficient transfer services, the number of KMRT users has been limited to some 180,000 per day since it started commercial operation in 2008.

The system had run at a loss until the end of last year, the bureau said.

To complete the KMRT network, the bureau proposed the construction of the yellow line and an extension of the red line to Luzhu District close to Tainan, at a total cost of some NT$145.5 billion.

The yellow line project has been included in the Executive Yuan's "Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan," according to the bureau.

After taking a ride on the Kaohsiung light-rail line earlier in the day, Tsai said she fully supports the city's transportation infrastructure drives.

"Now is a key moment in Kaohsiung's urban transformation," Tsai said.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Elizabeth Hsu)