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Taipei Metro at 20, now and then

2016/04/18 21:33:00

Taipei Metro marked its 20th anniversary in March. Its network now encompasses five lines spanning 131.1 kilometers after starting with a single line of 10.5 km.

A testing accident in 1993.

The attempt to simultaneously build the complete network starting in 1986 led to a decade of severe traffic congestion, which was one of the issues during the 1994 Taipei mayoral campaign. Accidents during testing of the first metro line a year earlier were also debated.

The country's first metro system has faced some bumps in the road over the past two decades. One of them was caused by Typhoon Nari in 2001, when 16 underground stations were flooded, including a main control center in Taipei Main Station.

It took three months for Taipei Metro to resume full operations, and flood prevention measures were introduced in existing and new stations.

Another major event was a random attack on May 21, 2014 when university student Cheng Chieh (鄭捷) stabbed passengers on a moving train on the Bannan Line, taking four lives and leaving 22 injured.

A black-and-white message mourning victims of the attack is shown May 27, 2014.

The latest major expansion of the network took place in November 2014, when the Songshan Line entered service and ended direct train service between Tamsui and Xindian.

A train service between Xindian and Tamsui, which were formerly spelled as Hsintien and Tamshui.

Average daily ridership reached 2.10 million trips in March, and the network is set to further expand with several new metro lines mainly in New Taipei, including the Circular Line, Sanying Line, Ankeng Line and Wanda-Zhonghe-Shulin Line, and two tram lines in Tamshui.

(From the Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems)

(By Huang Li-yun and Kay Liu)