Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) The Luzhou Line of the Taipei mass rapidtransit system is set to open Wednesday afternoon after eight yearsof construction, giving residents of the western Taipei suburb a moreconvenient way to commute into the city.
The Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) , which overseesTaipei City's MRT system, estimated that the new line would cater toan average of 170,000 passengers per day and increase average dailytraffic on the overall network to 1.58 million passenger-trips.
The MRT Luzhou line, which will stretch from the corner ofZhongxiao E. Rd. and Xinsheng South Rd. across the Danshui River toLuzhou in Taipei County, should ease the heavy congestion on roadsbetween the areas at rush hour, the DORTS said.
Vincent Huang, a 27-year-old media worker, said he was lookingforward to taking the new line to commute into Taipei instead oftaking bus No. 41 or 226.
"It could save me up to two-thirds of my travel time during rushhour," Huang said, adding that he was happy to say goodbye to waitingfor buses in the rain.
To promote the new line, users with EasyCards will be allowed totravel for free between Luzhou and Taipei until December 2.
The Luzhou Line, also known as the Taipei MRT's Orange Line, willbe fully completed in mid-2011 when it is connected to its existingsouthern half that links Taipei to the suburb of Jhonghe.
That spawned some confusion among residents over what parts ofthe Orange Line could be used.
"Are you saying the new line doesn't go to Dongmen Station? "61-year-old Liu Chang-feng asked, referring to the stop in Taipeithat will be added when the two halves of the Orange Line are joinedtogether next year.
With the addition of the Luzhou Line, the Taipei MRT network willspan over 105 kilometers and serve 91 stations.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)