TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taichung Transportation Bureau Director-General Wang Yi-chuan (王義川) said Taichung MRT's Blue Line is in full gear now that the central government has approved the project, and that funds for the project from the central and local governments have been secured, according to a report by Chinese-language Liberty Times on Friday.
Wang said the bureau will proceed with the project by speeding up the comprehensive planning, environmental impact assessment, and basic design.
The MRT Blue Line will have a total length of 26.2 kilometers and include 18 stations when completed, with the total cost of the project is about NT$98.15 billion (about US$3.27 billion), the report said. It is estimated that 243, 200 passengers per day will take the Blue Line to travel though Taiwan Boulevard after completion of the project.
It will take only 34 minutes to travel from Taichung City Hall to Taichung Harbor, less than 10 minutes from the city hall to TRA Taichung Station, and only 15 minutes from the city hall to Taiwan High Speed Rail by transferring to the Green Line, the Liberty Times reported.
Wang said that trial runs on the north-south MRT Green Line system will start by the end of the year, and the east-west Blue Line will intersect the Green Line when both lines are completed, forming a cross-shaped network, the report said.
A circular railway around the metropolitan area is currently under construction to connect the MRT lines and form a rail network in the future that will further shorten transportation time within the city, he said, according to the report.
The transportation official also said Taichung has made great strides in railway construction this year, mentioning important achievements, including the five new stations along the elevated railway in Taichung scheduled to open on Oct. 28 and the MRT Green Line, whose formal operations are expected to start in 2020, the report said.