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Premier wants airport MRT line operational before Spring Festival

2016/12/12 19:30:30

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has instructed that if possible, he wants to see the new airport mass rapid transit (MRT) line begin commercial operations before the Spring Festival in late January next year.

Lin hopes the airport MRT line will help raise Taiwan Taoyan International Airport -- Taiwan's largest international gateway -- to a higher category in global airport reviews and ratings, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Monday.

Hsu said Lin expects the cumulative number of arrivals and departures at the airport this year to reach 40 million by Christmas this year, a new high that will allow the airport to enter the category of handling over 40 million passengers in global airport ratings.

The premier expects that the long-anticipated airport MRT line becoming operational will help boost passenger traffic at the airport, thanks to its service feature that will allow travelers to check in for flights in advance at Taipei Main Station, according to Hsu.

With this in mind, Lin instructed that the new line should become operational by the Spring Festival, which is the Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1, Hsu said.

The airport MRT project, which began in 2006, is being constructed by the central government at a cost of NT$113.8 billion (US$3.58 billion). The initial completion date was 2010, but due to several delays, the project is not scheduled to become operational until March 2017.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)