Taipei--The Consumers' Foundation on Friday pointed out several deficiencies in the mass rapid transit (MRT) line linking Taipei and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, which began commercial operation a day earlier.
The foundation also called for a lowering of fares for regular trains, noting that currently, the price for both regular and express trains is the same at NT$160 (US$5.16).
It is "more reasonable" to separate the prices, with regular fares cut to between NT$100-NT$120 to encourage commuters to use the line so as to attract more passengers and solve the problem of possible insufficient ridership, the foundation said.
It made the suggestions at a news conference in which it also criticized that direction signs for the airport MRT line are not comprehensive or clear enough.
The foundation also found that the gap between the platform and the train at airport terminal 1 is more than seven centimeters, and that there is also a height difference between the carriages and the platform, which could hinder the movement of passengers and luggage.
It said that an in-town check-in service originally planned for Taipei Main Station (A1) and the New Taipei Industrial Park (A3) is currently only available at Taipei Main Station, which is bound to invite public complaints.
Finally, it said that the Taoyuan City government and the Taoyuan Metro Corp., which runs the line, should explain clearly whether its fire-fighting facilities and evacuation plan meet safety standards, noting that arson attacks on Hong Kong's subway system -- one last month and the other in 2004 -- caused casualties.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel