Free rides on Airport MRT for individual passengers starting Thursday

The Taoyuan Airport MRT will begin offering free rides to individual passengers on Thursday

Interior of new Airport MRT train. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Limited numbers of individual passengers will be given free rides on the Taoyuan mass rapid transit (MRT) line beginning tomorrow, according to Taoyuan Mass Transit Corp.

As part of the second phase of the month-long free trial run, from Feb. 16 - Mar. 1 individual passengers will be allowed to travel for free between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., however they must first obtain a queue number, which will be available at 7:40 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., and 1:40 p.m. each day. Only 20,000 queue numbers will be provided per day, though children below the age of 6 can ride without a queue number.

During this phase, passengers will have access to all 21 stations, including Taipei Main Station and the airport stations. China Airlines and EVA Airways will have check-in counters at the Taipei Main Station, as well as their respective subsidiaries Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways.

As long as they arrive at the Taipei Main Station check in counter three hours in advance, passengers can check their luggage and receive seat assignments and boarding passes. 

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) told the media on Tuesday that the Airport MRT will officially open to all passengers on Mar. 2 with tickets available at a 50 percent discount during the first month of operation. The trains will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.

After the first month of normal operations, Cheng said passengers will receive a 40 percent discount and employees of companies of up to 300 people will receive a 50 percent discount on fares if they purchase a 3-month pass.