Taichung is to launch test runs of the city’s first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line by the end of this year, Taichung Transportation Bureau Director-General Wang Yi-chuan said yesterday, adding that 79 percent of the construction has been completed.
Taichung is conducting integration tests of the operation control center and communication system of the Green Line, Wang said, aiming to begin operations in 2020.
Six stations and a second control center had not been built when the administrative team of Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) took over the project in 2014, he said.
The previous administration had also not purchased the land to build a passageway to the proposed G16 station, he said.
Because the construction had not yet begun in 2014, the National Audit Office estimated that the Green Line would not become operational until 2022, but Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Ling-san entrusted the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems with the task of building the six stations and a second control center, Wang said, adding that CPC Corp, Taiwan allowed the city government to use its property near the G16 site to build the passageway.
As such, the construction of the line should be completed two years earlier than forecast, Wang said.
As the MRT line utilizes an automated operating system, it must undergo strict, multiple test runs to ensure the reliable operations of trains, stations and tracks, he said.
After the test runs, the city plans to conduct a preliminary inspection of the line and apply for a final inspection by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Wang said.
The Green Line connects Taichung’s Beitun, Situn, Nantun and Wuri districts.
The new MRT line will not be fully completed until it becomes part of a wider transportation network, Lin said, adding that the city government has filed a request to build a 26.2km Blue Line, which would connect Taichung International Airport, the Port of Taichung and Taiwan Boulevard.