Taipei mayor presides over ground-breaking ceremony for MRT Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin Line

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je presided over the ground-breaking ceremony on the weekend for two sections of MRT Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin Line. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (Taiwan News)--Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je presided over the ground-breaking ceremony on the weekend for two sections of MRT Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin Line.

During his speech, the mayor noted that the start of works at these two sites symbolizes that construction of Taipei’s portion of the new MRT line is underway.

According to Ko, the most important factor of the revitalization project for Zhongzheng and Wanhua districts is the MRT Wanda Line. He repeated the difficulties cited by the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) on building a new line through the older section of the city – narrow roads, crowded pipeline networks, and historical sites, to name a few. Constructions will have to proceed carefully, striking a balance between the schedule and preservation of historical sites.

Another challenge will be crossing the Xindian River to connect with the section in New Taipei City, he said. Furthermore, arranging work in a way to minimize impact upon schools along the way throughout constructions also requires effort, given the number of such institutions located near future stations, Ko added.

Ko recalled that after two years as Taipei mayor, his administration is able to save nearly NT$42 billion (about US$1.4 billion) for the city. While NT$30 billion were used to pay off debts, the city treasury still maintains NT$12 billion in cash, allowing the city government to undertake construction projects on its own, without having to rely on BOTs. He is confident that DORTS will maintain quality throughout the construction, with over three decades of experience in this field.

The Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin line is a medium capacity line on the Taipei Metro currently approved and beginning construction.