Taipei--The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line will begin the next phase of trial runs Thursday, with free rides to be offered to individual passengers in the two weeks before commercial operations begin March 2, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (???) said Tuesday.
Between Feb. 16 and March 1, a daily maximum of 40,000 free rides between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. will be offered to individual passengers, who will be required to obtain numbered tags, which will be distributed at all 21 stations at 7:40 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m. and 1:40 p.m each day, according to Cheng.
Meanwhile, an in-town check-in service for airport passengers will be available at Taipei Main Station during the phase, he said.
In the first phase of the trial runs, which started Feb. 2 and will run through Wednesday, free rides between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. are offered to group passengers who apply in advance.
Cheng said he took a free ride along with 350 representatives from the Taoyuan Mass Transit Corp., airlines and duty free shops on Monday to experience the system.
Cheng said that about 200 passenger groups have taken the free rides on the line each day and have given the line an over 95 percent satisfaction rate.
The number of passengers had reached 130,000 as of Feb. 12 and the number could have risen to an estimated 150,000 as of Feb. 13, exceeding the originally estimated 10,000 per day, Taoyuan Metro Corp. Chairman Liu Kun-yi (???) said, adding that this signals initial success in the trial runs.
After the MRT starts commercial operations, passengers will be offered a 50 percent discount on all trips during the first month. The trains will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, according to the company.
After that, commuters will be offered a 40 percent discount on all trips if they buy a 3-month pass, while a 50 percent discount will be offered for groups of up to 300 people, according to Cheng.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel