Taipei-- The mass rapid transit (MRT) line between Taipei and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will begin trial runs Feb. 2, the first working day after the Lunar New Year holiday, Transport Minister Ho Chen Tan (???) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (???) announced Wednesday.
Rides on the MRT will be free to the public for a period of one month before it begins commercial operations March 2, according to the Taoyuan Mass Rapid Transit Corp.
After the MRT starts commercial operations, passengers will be offered a 50 percent discount on all trips during the first month, it said.
The Transport Ministry decided to issue the operation permit for the line after a final inspection earlier this month, Ho Chen said at the event, while presenting the operation permit to Cheng.
According to the Taoyuan MRT company, group passengers who apply in advance will be allowed to travel free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. between Feb. 2-15, the first two weeks of the one-month trial period.
Group passengers will be restricted to getting on and off at just six of the 21 stations: A1 (Taipei Station), A3 (New Taipei Industrial Park), A8 (Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital), A10 (Bishan), A18 (High Speed Rail Taoyuan Station) and A21 (Huanbei or North Link).
Each group will have a maximum of 40 members, one of whom must act as leader. Central government agencies, city or county councils, local governments and transportation business groups are welcome to organize group rides during the two-week period.
In the last two weeks of the trial period between Feb. 16-March 1, travel will be free for all individual passengers on the line, according to the company.
Members of the public interested in taking free rides from any of the line's stations must obtain a numbered tag to be admitted. The tags are available at all stations at 7:40 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.
The system will impose capacity controls during the first two weeks of the trial period, with a maximum of 20,000 group passengers allowed to travel each day, it said.
During the last two weeks, a maximum of 40,000 passengers will be allowed to take rides each day, the company added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel