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Taipei MRT cuts train frequency as ridership drops over COVID

Wait times on Tamsui-Xinyi, Bannan lines increased to 9.5 minutes on weekends, holidays

Taipei MRT cuts train frequency as ridership drops over COVID

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Due to a decline in passengers amid a surge in COVID cases, the Taipei Metro announced that it would reduce the frequency on all but one line starting on Monday (May 23).

On Sunday (May 22), the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) announced that except for the Wenhu (brown) line, off-peak weekday wait times between trains will increase an additional 15 seconds up to one minute on the Tamsui-Xinyi (red), Bannan (blue), Zhonghe-Xinlu (orange), Songshan-Xindian (green), and Circular (yellow) lines. On weekends and holidays, the wait time on the Tamsui-Xinyi and Bannan lines will increase to nine minutes and thirty seconds.

Amid the largest surge of COVID cases, daily ridership went from 1.3 million passengers in the first week of May, to 1.2 million in the second week, and further dipped to 1.15 million by the third week, according to TRTC statistics. In response, the Taipei MRT is reducing the frequency of trains during off-peak hours, weekdays, and holidays starting on Monday.

Off-peak wait times (peak hours run 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) for the Tamsui-Xinyi, Bannan, and Zhonghe-Xinlu lines will increase between 15 seconds to 30 seconds to around four minutes and forty-five seconds. While the off-peak gap between trains on the Songshan-Xindian line will increase from a range of five to seven minutes to about six to eight minutes. The off-peak wait time on the Circular line will increase from nine minutes to about 10 minutes.

On weekends and public holidays, the wait time between trains on the Tamsui-Xinyi and Bannan lines will increase from every four minutes and forty-five seconds to once every nine minutes and thirty seconds. On the same days, the frequency on the Circular line will be reduced from once every nine minutes to once every 10 minutes.

The weekend and holiday schedule for the Wenhu, Songshan-Xindian, and Zhonghe-Xinlu lines will be unchanged for now. TRTC pointed out that the frequency on all lines during peak hours on weekdays will remain unchanged for the time being, but further adjustments are possible depending on daily ridership trends.