Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) Trial runs will start on the Green Line of the Taichung Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system by the end of the year and formal operations are expected to start in 2020, the city's Transportation Bureau Director-General Wang Yi-chuan (王義川) said Monday.
The 16.7-kilometer line, which connects major transportation hubs and neighborhoods such as High Speed Railway Taichung City Station, Taichung City Hall and Wenxin Forest Park, is 79-percent finished, Wang said in a briefing to the city council.
The trains' onboard electrical and communication systems are currently being tested, but being driverless they must undergo rigorous testing, he added.
According to the transportation official, work is still ongoing on the interior of the 18 stations, while automated ticketing machines, elevators and turnstiles have already been installed in most stations.
Asked if the public would be able to ride the trains by the end of the year, Wang said trial runs must be completed first.
Meanwhile, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said the system will be the first MRT line in the city and an important milestone, but safety will not be comprised in order to bring forward the completion date.
A Blue Line, which spans 26.2 km and has 18 stations, is currently in the planning stage as part of an extension to the city's transportation network, Lin said.