Taiwan's National Development Council (NDC) on Monday approved a project to build the Siaogang-Linyuan line on the Kaohisung Metro, and said service on the line is scheduled to begin in 2030.
The NDC, the top economic planning agency in Taiwan, said construction of the new line is scheduled to start at the end of 2022.
However, the project is still pending final approval from the Cabinet, according to the NDC.
The NDC said the total investment in the new Kaohsiung Metro project is expected to hit NT$53.3 billion (US$1.9 billion).
The 12-kilometer line will have seven stations linking the terminal stop of the Red Line to the Linyuan Industrial Park.
In addition to the Linyuan Industrial Park, the new line will also carry passengers to the other two important industrial parks in Kaohsiung: the New Material Circular Industrial Park and the Linhai Industrial Park, according to the project.
Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Charles Lin (???) said the future Siaogang-Linyuan line will run along a section of road in Kaohsiung which has seen a relatively high number of vehicle accidents with injuries and deaths. Motorists face risks when they drive on the roads to and from the industrial parks because they are often flanked by heavy trucks.
In the past 10 years, the number of traffic accidents on that section of road has resulted in 27 death and about 4,000 injuries each year on average, with the various costs resulting from the collisions reaching about NT$5 billion a year, Lin cited statistics compiled by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications as saying.
After the completion of the new line, Lin said, commuters would no longer have to drive their motorbikes to travel to and from the three industrial parks because they would be able to take the metro, which will be safe.
According to Lin, the three industrial parks, which house an important semiconductor cluster in southern Taiwan, have a combined workforce of about 60,000, generating NT$1.24 trillion in total production value each year.
To encourage passengers to take the Siaogang-Linyuan line, Lin said, the Kaohsiung City Government is mulling the possibility of issuing special tickets with preferential rates.
In the two years before completion of the new line, the Kaohsiung City Council is expected to approve rules for the city government to issue subsidies on ticket prices, Lin said.
Currently, Kaohsiung Metro has two lines: the south-north Red Line between the Gangshan South and the Siaogang stations and the east-west Orange Line between the Hamasen and Daliao stations.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel