Kaohsiung, June 4 (CNA) The southern Taiwan port city of Kaohsiung began construction Tuesday of a planned circular light rail line, part of its mass rapid transit system.
At a ground-breaking ceremony for the project, Mayor Chen Chu said she expects the line to become an important landmark after the first stage of the project enters the trial run phase in late 2014.
According to the city government, the line will stretch for 22.1 km and will have 36 stations. The project, planned to be built in two stages, is scheduled to be entirely completed and operating on a commercial basis by 2019.
The total cost is estimated at NT$16.5 billion (US$2.69 billion), with the central government promising financial support of NT$6.4 billion and the city government raising the rest of the funds by itself.
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), a Spanish public company specializing in the manufacture of railway vehicles and equipment, has been contracted to build the line -- Taiwan's first --in conjunction with Evergreen Construction Corp., a local firm.
(By Wang Shwu-fen and Elizabeth Hsu)