Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), branded as Taipei Metro, is a metro system serving Taipei and New Taipei, Taiwan, operated by government owned Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, which also operates Maokong Gondola.
A 381 stock near Beitou
|Taipei Rapid Transit System|
|Owner||Taipei City Government|
|Area served||Taipei and New Taipei, Taiwan|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||5|
|Number of stations||117|
|Annual ridership||765.47 million (2018)|
|Chief executive||BC Yen|
|Headquarters||7 Lane 48 Sec 2 Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei|
|Began operation||28 March 1996|
|Operator(s)||Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation|
|Character||Fully grade separated|
|Number of vehicles||217.5|
|System length||131.1 km (81.5 mi)|
|No. of tracks||2|
|Minimum radius of curvature|
|Electrification||Third rail 750 V direct current|
Taipei Metro was the first metro system in Taiwan. The initial network was approved for construction in 1986 and work started two years later. The first line opened in 1996 and by 2000, 62 stations were in service on three main lines. Over the next 9 years the number of passengers had increased by 70%. Since 2008, the network has expanded to 117 stations and the passenger count has grown by another 66%.
The system has often been praised for its safety, reliability and quality. It has become effective in relieving traffic congestion in Taipei, with over two million trips made daily. The system has also proven effective as a catalyst for urban renewal.
Proposal and constructionEdit
The idea of constructing the Taipei Metro was first put forth at a press conference on 28 June 1968, where the Minister of Transportation and Communications Sun Yun-suan announced his ministry's plans to begin researching the possibility of constructing a rapid transit network in the Taipei metropolitan area; however, the plan was shelved due to fiscal concerns and the belief that such a system was not urgently needed at the time. With the increase of traffic congestion accompanying economic growth in the 1970s, the need for a rapid transit system became more pressing. In February 1977, the Institute of Transportation (IOT) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) released a preliminary rapid transport system report, with the designs of five lines, including U1, U2, U3, S1, and S2, to form a rough sketch of the planned corridors, resulting in the first rapid transit system plan for Taipei.
In 1981, the IOT invited British Mass Transit Consultants (BMTC) and China Engineering Consultants, Inc. to form a team and provide in-depth research on the preliminary report. In 1982, the Taipei City Government commissioned National Chiao Tung University to do a research and feasibility study on medium-capacity rapid transit systems. In January 1984, the university proposed an initial design for a medium-capacity rapid transit system in Taipei City, including plans for Wenhu line and Tamsui–Xinyi line of the medium-capacity metro system. On March 1, 1985, the Executive Yuan Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) signed a treaty with the Taipei Transit Council (TTC), composed of three American consultant firms, to do overall research on a rapid transit system in metropolitan Taipei. Apart from adjustments made to the initial proposal, Wenhu line of the medium-capacity metro system was also included into the network. In 1986, the initial network design of the Taipei Metro by the CEPD was passed by the Executive Yuan, although the network corridors were not yet set. A budget of NT$441.7 billion was allocated for the project.
On 27 June 1986, the Preparatory Office of Rapid Transit Systems was created, which on 23 February 1987 was formally established as the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) for the task of handling, planning, design, and construction of the system. Apart from preparing for the construction of the metro system, DORTS also made small changes to the metro corridor. The 6 lines proposed on the initial network were: Tamsui line and Xindian line (Lines U1 and U2), Zhonghe Line (Line U3), Nangang Line and Banqiao Line (Line S1), and Muzha (now Wenhu) line (Wenhu line medium-capacity), totaling 79 stations and 76.8 km (47.7 mi) route length, including 34.4 km (21.4 mi) of elevated rail, 9.5 km (5.9 mi) at ground level, and 44.2 km (27.5 mi) underground. The Neihu Line corridor was approved later in 1990. On 27 June 1994, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) was formed to oversee the operation of the Taipei Metro system.
The Executive Yuan approved the initial network plan for the system on 27 May 1986. Ground was broken and construction began on 15 December 1988. The growing traffic problems of the time, compounded by road closures due to TRTS construction led to what became popularly known as the "dark age of Taipei traffic". The TRTS was the center of political controversy during its construction and shortly after the opening of its first line in 1996 due to incidents such as computer malfunction during a thunderstorm, alleged structural problems in some elevated segments, budget overruns, and fare prices.
The system opened on 28 March 1996, with the 10.5 km (6.5 mi) elevated Wenhu line, a driverless, medium-capacity line with twelve stations running from Zhongshan Junior High School to Taipei Zoo. The first high-capacity line, the Tamsui–Xinyi line, began service on 28 March 1997, running from Tamsui to Zhongshan, then extended to Taipei main station at the end of the year. On 23 December 1998, the system passed the milestone of 100 million passengers.
On 24 December 1999, a section of the Bannan line was opened between Longshan Temple and Taipei City Hall. This section became the first east-west line running through the city, connecting the two previously completed north-south lines. On 31 May 2006, the second stage of the Banqiao–Nangang section and the Tucheng section began operation. The service was then named Bannan after the districts that it connects (Banqiao and Nangang).
On 4 July 2007, the Maokong Gondola, a new aerial lift/cable-car system, was opened to the public. The system connects the Taipei Zoo, Zhinan Temple, and Maokong. Service was suspended on 1 October 2008 due to erosion from mudslides under a support pillar following Typhoon Jangmi. The gondola officially resumed service as of 31 March 2010, after relocation of the pillar and passing safety inspections.
On 4 July 2009, with the opening of the Neihu section of Wenhu line, the last of the six core sections was completed. Due to controversy on whether to construct a medium-capacity or high-capacity line, construction of the line did not begin until 2002.
Zhonghe–Xinlu line was extended from Guting to Luzhou and Huilong in 2012. The Xinyi section of Tamsui–Xinyi line and Songshan section of Songshan–Xindian line were opened on 24 November 2013 and 15 November 2014 respectively.
Prior to 2014, only physical lines had official names; services did not. In 2008, the Tamsui–Xindian–Nanshijiao and Xiaonanmen services were referred to by termini while Bannan and Wenhu services were referred to by the physical lines on which they operated.
Following the completion of the core sections of the system in 2014, the naming scheme for services was set and 'lines' started to referred to services. Between 2014 and 2016, lines were given alternative number names based on the order of the dates the lines first opened. Brown, Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines were named lines 1 to 5 respectively. The planned Circular, Wanda–Shulin and Minsheng–Xizhi lines were to be lines 6 to 8 respectively. In 2016, the number names were replaced by colour names. Today, Chinese announcements use full names while English announcements use colour names.
Timeline of servicesEdit
The system is designed based on spoke-hub distribution paradigm, with most rail lines running radially outward from central Taipei. The MRT system operates daily from 06:00 to 00:00 the following day (the last trains finish their runs by 01:00), with extended services during special events (such as New Year festivities). Trains operate at intervals of 1:30 to 15 minutes depending on the line and time of day. Smoking is forbidden in the entire metro system, while eating, drinking, and chewing gum and betel nuts are forbidden within the paid area.
Stations become extremely crowded during rush hours, especially at transfer stations such as Taipei main station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Minquan West Road. Automated station announcements are recorded in Mandarin, English, Hokkien, and Hakka, with Japanese at busy stations.
|Icon||Full name||Announced name||Services||Stations|
|Wenhu line||Brown line||24|
|Tamsui–Xinyi line||Red line||28|
|Songshan–Xindian line||Green line||20|
|Zhonghe–Xinlu line||Orange line||26|
|Bannan line||Blue line||23|
Fares and ticketsEdit
Fares range between NT$20–65 per trip as of 2018. RFID single journey tokens and rechargeable IC cards are used to collect fares for day-to-day use. Discounts are given to all IC card users and further for those with welfare cards provided by local governments. Children aged 6 or over pay adult fares. Other ticket types include passes, joint tickets with other services and tickets for groups and cyclists.
The Taipei Metro provides an obstacle-free environment within the entire system; all stations and trains are handicap accessible. Features include: handicap-capable restrooms, ramps and elevators for wheelchairs and strollers, tactile guide paths, extra-wide faregates, and trains with a designated wheelchair area.
Beginning in September 2003, the English station names for Taipei Metro stations were converted to use Hanyu pinyin before the end of December, with brackets for Tongyong Pinyin names for signs shown at the station entrances and exits. However, after the conversion, many stations were reported to have multiple conflicting English station names caused by inconsistent conversions, even for stations built after enactment of the new naming policy. The information brochures (臺北市大眾捷運系統捷運站轉乘公車資訊手冊) printed in September 2004 still used Wade–Giles romanizations.
To accommodate increasing passenger numbers, all metro stations have replaced turnstiles with speedgates since 2007, and single journey magnetic cards have been replaced by RFID tokens. TRTS provides free mobile phone connections in all stations, trains, and tunnels and also provides WiFi WLAN connections at several station hotspots. The world's first WiMAX-service metro trains were introduced on the Wenhu line in 2007, allowing passengers to access the internet and watch live broadcasts. Several stations are also equipped with mobile charging stations.
Most stations on high-capacity lines have island platform configurations while a few have side platform configurations, and vice versa for medium-capacity lines (a few stations have island platform configurations but the majority of medium-capacity stations have side platform configurations). All high-capacity metro stations have a 150 m (490 ft) long platform to accommodate all six train cars on a typical metro train (with the exception of Xiaobitan). The width of the platform and concourse depends on the volume of transit; the largest stations include Taipei main station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei City Hall. Some other transfer stations, including CKS Memorial Hall, Guting, and Songjiang Nanjing, also have wide platforms.
Each station is equipped with LED displays and LCD TVs both in the concourse and on the platforms which display the time of arrival of the next train. At all underground stations, red lights along the platform edge (or on automatic platform gates at stations where they are installed) flash one minute prior to train arrival to alert passengers. As of September 2018, all stations have automatic platform gates.
All the stations on the Wenhu line and Zhonghe–Xinlu line, as well as at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, are equipped with platform screen doors. High-traffic stations, including Taipei main station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei City Hall, have platform gates to prevent passengers and other objects from falling onto the rails. For safety reasons, fifteen additional stations will be equipped with these gates in the future (including Ximen, Guting, and Banqiao). All lines and extensions currently under construction will be equipped with platform screen doors. A Track Intrusion Detection System has also been installed to improve passenger safety at stations without platform doors. The system uses infrared and radio detectors to monitor unusual movement in the track area.
In the initial network, important stations such as transfer stations, terminal stations, and stations with heavy passenger flow were chosen for the installation of public art. The principles behind the locations of public art were visual focus and non-interference with passenger circulation and construction schedules. The artworks included murals, children's mosaic collages, sculptures, hung forms, spatial art, interactive art, and window displays. The selection methods included open competitions, invitational competitions, direct assignments, and cooperation with children.
Stations with public art displays include: Shuanglian, NTU Hospital, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Guting, Gongguan, Xindian, Xiaobitan, Dingxi, Nanshijiao, Taipei City Hall, Kunyang, Nangang, Haishan, and Tucheng. Stations with art galleries include Zhongshan, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei main station.
The promotion for artwork continues today – the Department of Rapid Transit held a bid on providing public large scale artwork for the interiors of Sanchong. The bid is placed at over NT$9 million.
- Zhongshan Metro Mall: Shuanglian – Zhongshan – Taipei main station (815 m, 81 shops).
- Taipei main station underground mall: on floor B1 of the station.
- Taipei New World Shopping Center: Between the metro and TRA sections of Taipei Station.
- Station front metro mall: West of Taipei main station, beneath Zhongxiao W Road.
- Taipei City Mall: Northwest of Taipei main station, beneath Zhengzhou Rd and Civic Blvd.
- East Metro Mall: Between Zhongxiao Fuxing and Zhongxiao Dunhua (825 m, 35 shops).
- Ximen Underground Mall: north of Ximen (currently used as an office building and library).
- Longshan Temple Underground Mall: Longshan Temple north and south sides.
- Global Mall: Banqiao floors B1 to 2F.
As of 2008 there are 102 shops within the stations themselves.
Transfers to city bus stations are available at all metro stations. In 2009, transfer volume between the metro and bus systems reached 444,100 transfers per day (counting only EasyCard users). Connections to Taiwan Railway Administration and Taiwan High Speed Rail trains are available at Taipei main station, Banqiao and Nangang. Connections to Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station are available at Taipei main station and Taipei City Hall stations, respectively. The Maokong Gondola is accessible from Taipei Zoo.
Rolling stocks on the Taipei Metro are multiple unit rolling stocks, using a third rail to provide electricity (750 volts DC) for propulsion. Each train is equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) for a partial or complete automatic train piloting and driverless functions.
The medium-capacity trains are 6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm) gauge rubber-tired trains with no onboard train operators but are operated remotely by the medium-capacity system operation control center. The Wenhu line uses a fixed-block Automatic Train Control (ATC) system. Each train consists of two 2-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets, with a total of 4 cars. Each car is a closed end car where passengers cannot walk between cars unless the train stops and the doors are open.
The Wenhu line was initially operated with VAL 256 trains cars, where two VAL 256 cars in the same set would share the same road number. As a result of this numbering scheme, the 102 cars of the VAL fleet have car numbers from 1 to 51. On June 2003, Bombardier was awarded a contract to supply the Wenhu line with 202 Innovia 256 train cars , to install the communications-based CITYFLO 650 moving-block ATC system to replace the fixed-block ATC system and also to retrofit the existing 102 VAL 256 cars with the CITYFLO 650 ATC system. Integration of Bombardier's trains with the existing Wenhu line proved to be difficult in the beginning, with multiple system malfunctions and failures during the first three months of operation. Retrofitting older trains also took longer than expected, as the older trains must undergo several hours of reliability tests during non-service hours. The VAL 256 trains resumed operations in December 2010.
The heavy-capacity trains have steel wheels and are operated by an on-board train operator. The trains are computer-controlled. The operator, who is both motorman and conductor, is responsible for opening and closing the doors and making announcements. ATC controls all train movements, including braking, acceleration and speed control, but can be manually overridden by the operator in the case of an emergency.
Each train consists of two 3-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets with a total of 6 cars. Each 3-car EMU set is permanently coupled as DM-T-M, where DM is the motor car with full-width cab, T is a trailer car and M is the motor car without cab. Each motor car has two AC traction motors. The configuration of a 6-car train is DM-T-M-M-T-DM, not interchanged with other car types. Like Toronto subway's Toronto Rocket and some of the New York City Subway's R211 subway cars, each train features open gangways, allowing passengers to move freely between cars.
In Set XXX, the road number of a DM car is 1XXX, the road number of a T car is 2XXX and the road number of an M car is 3XXX. The table below shows the set numbers of the heavy-capacity car types, which include Types C301, C321, C341, C371, and C381. For example, if the car numbers of a C301 train is 1001-2001-3001-3002-2002-1002, two C301 sets 001 and 002 form this train.
A single set cannot be in revenue service except C371 single sets 397–399, where their M car is exactly a DM car despite its car number being 3XXX. These single sets run exclusively on Xinbeitou branch and Xiaobitan branch. Before the C371 single sets were in revenue service on July 22, 2006, the M cars of C301 sets 013-014 were converted to temporary cab cars to run the Xinbeitou branch.
In 2010, the new C381 was built for Taipei Metro to cope with increasing passenger ridership and the expansion of its network route. Upon entering service on 7 October 2012, three C381 trainsets are servicing the Beitou – Taipower Building segment of the Tamsui and Xindian Lines, with the remaining fleet being put into service on October 20, 2012. These trains provided much-needed capacity increase when the Xinyi and Songshan extensions opened in late 2013. After November 2014, the C381 trains are serving both Tamsui–Xinyi line and Songshan–Xindian line[needs update]. In addition to their assigned lines, the C381 sets are more distinctive than earlier heavy capacity models with double blue stripes and the re-positioning of the logo from the driver's door to well below of passenger's windows, right on the stripe; as well as the more "sleeker" cab and the new advertising screens (as seen in newer Japanese commuter trains such as the E233 series) to improve energy efficiency, although it retains the same propulsion as the C371s.
|VAL256, 350||1990~1993||Matra and GEC Alsthom||13.78 m/
|Innovia 256, 350||2006~2007||Bombardier||13.78 m/
|301||1992~1994||Kawasaki and URC||23.5 m/
|321||1998~1999||Siemens AG||23.5 m/
|341||2003||Siemens AG||23.5 m/
|371||2005~2009||Kawasaki and TRSC||23.5 m/
|321||301–338 (1st batch)
401–466 (2nd batch)
397~399 (for branch lines only)
|381||2010~2013||Kawasaki and TRSC||23.5 m/
|Depot Name||Year Opened||Location||Rolling Stock Housed||Line(s) Served|
|Muzha||1996||Wenshan, northeast of Taipei Zoo||VAL256|
|Beitou||1997||Beitou, southwest of Fuxinggang||Kawasaki C301, C371 (single), C381|
|Zhonghe||1998||Zhonghe, east of Nanshijiao||Kawasaki C371|
|Xindian||1999||Xindian, northwest of Xiaobitan||Kawasaki C371, C381|
|Nangang||2000||Nangang, southeast of Kunyang||Siemens C321, C341|
|Tucheng||2006||Tucheng, southwest of Far Eastern Hospital||Siemens C321, C341|
|Neihu||2009||Nangang, northeast of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center||Innovia 256|
|Luzhou||2010||Luzhou, northeast of Luzhou||Kawasaki C371|
|Year||Millions of Journeys||±% p.a.|
Despite earlier controversy, by the time the first phase of construction was completed in 2000, it was generally agreed that the metro project was a success and has since become an essential part of life in Taipei. The system has been effective in reducing traffic congestion in the city and has spurred the revival of satellite towns (like Tamsui) and development of new areas (like Nangang). The system has also helped to increase average vehicle speed for routes running from New Taipei into Taipei. Property prices along metro routes (both new and existing) tend to increase with the opening of more lines.
Since the Taipei Metro joined the Nova International Railway Benchmarking Group and the Community of Metros (Nova/CoMET) in 2002, it has started collecting and analysing data of the 33 Key Performance Indicators set by Nova/CoMET in order to compare them with those of other metro systems around the world, as a reference to improve its operation. Taipei Metro also has gained keys to success from case studies on different subjects such as safety, reliability, and incidents, and from the operational experiences of other metro systems.
According to a study conducted by the Railway Technology Strategy Center at Imperial College London, and data gathered by Nova/CoMET, the Taipei Metro has ranked number 1 in the world for four consecutive years in terms of reliability, safety, and quality standards (2004–2007). The most congested route sections handle over 38,000 commuters per hour during peak times.
On New Year's Eve 2009 and New Year's Day 2010, the Metro system transported 2.17 million passengers in 42 consecutive hours. On 22 April 2010 after 14 years of service, the system achieved the milestone of 4 billion cumulative riders. On December 29, 2010, the system passed the benchmark of 500 million annual passengers for the first time. The record for single day ridership hit 2.5 million passengers during the New Year's Eve celebrations on 31 December 2010. Following opening of the Xinyi section of Tamsui–Xinyi line, the system reached another record of 2.75 million passengers on 31 December 2013.
In May 2016, the Singapore Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said that his country’s rail operators, SBS Transit and SMRT, should emulate the example of Taipei Metro. Speaking at a rail engineering forum, he cited the Taipei Metro's timely maintenance and replacement of assets, as well as its fast response to rail network problems. Khaw said the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with the TRTC to attach staff from SBS and SMRT to its metro workshops, so they can learn from its asset maintenance practices and engineering improvements.
Safety and securityEdit
On 17 September 2001, Typhoon Nari flooded all underground tracks as well as 16 stations, the heavy-capacity system operation control center, the administration building, and the Nangang Depot. The elevated Wenhu line was not seriously affected and resumed operations the next day. However, the heavy-capacity lines were not restored to full operational status until three months later. Following this incident, TRTS has devoted more resources to flood prevention in the underground system.
On 21 May 2014, 28 people were stabbed in a mass stabbing by a knife-wielding college student on the Bannan line. The attack occurred on a train near Jiangzicui, resulting in 4 deaths and 24 injured. It was the first fatal attack on the metro system since it began operations in 1996. The suspect was 21-year-old university student Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), who was arrested at Jiangzicui immediately after the incident.
Circular line is a metro line under construction in New Taipei, with extensions being planned. The first section is scheduled to open in 2019. Stage I construction consists of section running from New Taipei Industrial Park to Dapinglin on Songshan–Xindian line and will be about 15.4 km (9.6 mi) long with 14 stations. Ansaldo STS will supply electromechanical equipment for the line, including driverless technology and CBTC Radio signalling.
This section needs to be updated.June 2016)(
Minsheng-Xizhi is a planned metro line. As of February 2011, New Taipei has been pursuing the construction of the 17.52-km Minsheng-Xizhi line, though the most recent plan was rejected by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, citing the need for further evidence for the line's viability. The city plans to re-submit the proposal, and the project is estimated to cost NT$42.2 billion (US$1.44 billion). A possible 4.25-km extension of the line to connect with Keelung's Lightrail Transit System is also being considered. The line is planned to be built partially underground and partially elevated. It will begin from Dadaocheng Harbour beneath Minsheng West Road in Taipei, run along Minsheng East and West Roads, pass through Minsheng Community and journey under the Keelung River towards the Neihu District. The line will then change to an elevated mode and reach its termini at Xintai 5th Road in Xizhi District, New Taipei City. As of May 2018, the proposal for this line has been submitted to the Ministry Of Transportation and Communications, but has yet to be approved.
Shezi, Shilin and Beitou light railEdit
An LRT system with two routes has been recommended for the Shezi, Shilin, and Beitou areas.
New Taipei MetroEdit
Additional lines under construction will form a separate New Taipei Metro network.
Danhai light railEdit
Ankeng light railEdit
Ankeng is getting a light rail line in the shape of a battery powered tram service, similar to those in Kaohsiung. Construction started around April 2016 and is well away on the road level part between station K1 and K5, with the first tracks having been laid in November 2018. As of December 2018 the project was at a 48.44% completion rate. From station K6 to K9 the tracks will be elevated. In addition, station K2 will apparently be elevated. Work on the bridge across the Xindian river has also started. As of June 2018, the entire section from station K1 to K6 is clearly visible on Google maps running down the middle of Anyi Rd and then turning right onto Anjie Rd, passing through a cemetery and going across Ankang Road. As of September 2018, work has started on the bridge across the Xindian river to Shisizhang station. The line is expected to open in December 2020 and will connect to station Y7 on the Circular line, which is still under construction, but is expected to open in 2019. The Department of Rapid Transit Systems has more details on its website in Chinese about the Ankeng light rail.
Sanying is a metro line under construction, serving Sanxia and Yingge districts. The first section is 14.29 km long, has twelve stations and runs through Tucheng, Sanxia and Yingge districts. The line shares the same terminus with Bannan line's terminal station, Dingpu.
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