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Appointment no longer needed for Kaohsiung tram line

Appointment no longer needed for Kaohsiung tram line

People wanting to try Taiwan's first light rail system were able to do so without needing to make an appointment, when all four existing stops became fully operational Thursday.

Kaohsiung's light rail system, the country's first tram line, which launched appointment-only trial operations Oct. 16, began allowing passengers to get on and off at any of the four stops, while the rides remain free as the trial run continues.

Passengers can change between the tram line and the city's metro system at the Kaisyaun metro station on the Red Line and the C3 tram stop -- Cianjhen Star.

Passengers still must use the iPass stored-value card for the free rides during the trial period, according to the Kaohsiung City Mass Rapid Transit Bureau.

The frequency remains at a service every 30 minutes, with 20 services running between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., the bureau said.

When the trial operations first began in October, passengers needed to make an appointment for a ride and could only get on and off the tram at the C1 stop. The trial run also only went as far as the C4 stop.

Over 50,000 people have used the tram line during the first 1.5 months of the trial period, the bureau said earlier in the month.

Kaohsiung began construction of the first phase of its light rail system, which runs on a circular route, in June 2013.

The first phase of the project includes an 8.7-kilometer, 14-stop tram line built along the Kaohsiung Harbor, and is expected to be completed in mid-2016.

The city plans to extend the trial operations from the current 2 km to 4.5 km, or to the C8 stop, before the Lunar New Year, if it receives approval from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the bureau said earlier. (By Wang Shwu-fen and Kay Liu)

Updated : 2021-09-17 02:38 GMT+08:00