Red Brick Daily
President Tsai was forceful over the weekend about plans for a MRT or light rail / tram system connecting the port city of Keelung to Taipei.
“Keelung residents have been expecting a mass rapid transit [MRT] system for decades and none of the previous administrations could provide it. I want to tell everyone in Keelung that we will definitely deliver it. The Democratic Progressive Party administration has the will and determination to ensure that Keelung gets an MRT,” President Tsai said.
But, as you can read more about in the link below, many wonder if the idea — which may cost NT$8+billion — is worth it. — A good question, as a major city such as Kaohsiung has found running and making a profit from its MRT systems tough.
The debate rages: should cities such as Keelung or Tainan spend the money and hope they eventually become cost effective? Or better utilize bus and other existing transport systems?
Check out some info we’ve compiled in the links below about MRT systems in Taiwan … especially in cities other than Taipei:
Keelung light railway is a waste of funds, critics say
“‘The light railway would only take passengers to Taipei’s MRT Nangang Exhibition Center Station and people would have to change trains at Keelung’s Badu (八堵) train station if they want to go to Taipei Railway Station. It would not even be connected to the high-speed rail system’ Chen said, adding that the proposal is nothing more than a bid to fulfill a campaign promise.”
TAICHUNG EXPAT VIEW: My Frustration With the Taichung MRT (From 2014 — and the line is still not functional)
“So, the original Five Year Plan that was the Green Line has become a Nine Year Plan, but no one in their right mind believes that it will be done in this decade. It’s taken five years and they have a minuscule number of pillars erected on Wenxin Lu (which is 70% of the line and the hardest-to-construct section). Meanwhile, left turn lanes no longer exist and many left hand turns are now illegal. What was once the pulsing Main Artery of Taichung is experiencing cardiac arrest.”
2015: Taichung Metro collapse kills 4, injures 4
“A collapsed section of an under-construction elevated railway at a Taichung Mass Rail Transit System (Taichung Metro) construction site caused four deaths and four injuries late Friday afternoon; three of the dead were construction workers at the site.”
2017: First Taichung MRT Green Line EMU Prototype Arrives in Taichung Harbor
“Taichung MRT: Each train car consists of two carriages, and gangways between carriages allow passengers to move from one carriage to another while the train is in motion. The carriages are approximately 22.17 meters in length with a width of about 2.98 meters and a height of about 3.78 meters, and the trains have a total length of approximately 44 meters with a carrying capacity of approximately 536 people (roughly 268 people per carriage).”
Tainan MRT plans have so far morphed into a train line that connects to the Tainan High-Speed Rail
“The Shalun Line (Chinese: 沙崙線; pinyin: Shālún xiàn) is a branch line of the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) Western Line in Tainan City, Taiwan. It was built to link the Western Line to the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) Tainan Station, speeding up transit times between downtown Tainan and the THSR station, with services running from Nanke Station or Tainan Station to Shalun Station, next to the THSR station. The line opened on January 2, 2011.”
2015: Kaohsiung MRT may just recently have begun making some money
“The mass rapid transit (MRT) system in Kaohsiung is forecast to generate earnings of NT$80 million this year and is likely to break even next year, according to the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp.’s (KRTC) estimation.”
Meanwhile, KHH light rail is moving ahead — only SLIGHTLY behind schedule — from July 2016:
“The KRTC said the construction of C8-C14 is currently about 88 percent completed and expected it to be fully completed before the end of the year. Integrated with Kaohsiung’s other public transport systems, the KLRT intersects with Kaohsiung’s Red and Orange MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) lines.”