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Kaohsiung plans to open public bid for light rail system

2012/05/22 22:37:40

Kaohsiung, May 22 (CNA) The Kaohsiung City Council has passed a series of regulations regarding the construction of a light rail transport system in the southern city, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp. (KRTC) officials said Tuesday.

The city government aims to open public bidding on the project in June at the earliest, the officials said.

The city government is currently seeking approval of the regulations from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

The officials said KRTC hopes the ministry will soon approve an amended proposal for the light rail transport system as it plans to partially open services in 2014.

Some city councilors have expressed opposition to the project because local residents are used to using scooters rather that public transport. Some councilors warned that the light rail system will have operating losses like those suffered by the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system due to low ridership.

Despite the objections, however, the city council passed the relevant regulations.

The light rail system, budgeted at NT$16.5 billion (US$559 million), will be a 22.1-km circular network and will be part of the city government's efforts to promote public transport and reduce the city's carbon emissions.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Nell Shen)