The first section of the yellow Circular Line of the Taipei MRT system that will circle around New Taipei City is set to go into operation in the fourth quarter of this year, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in a Facebook post late Monday.
The new line, comprising 14 stations, will connect Dapinglin to the New Taipei Industrial Park through Xindian, Zhonghe, Banqiao and Xinzhuang and avoid passing through Taipei, reducing travel time.
The first phase of construction of the Circular Line is expected to be completed in the middle of this year, and the section should begin service in the fourth quarter, Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems Chief Secretary Wang Wei (王偉) confirmed Tuesday.
Service will only begin, however, after on-site inspections are conducted by the city government and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), and the MOTC approves the line, Wang said.
In his Facebook post, Ko also commented on future construction, demanding that the designs of electromechanical systems of other planned Circular Line sections that have yet to be built be fully integrated.
Reiterating his request at City Hall on Tuesday, Ko said the Taipei MRT network currently consists of five lines and four E&M systems, which is "not right" because more electromechanical systems make the network more complicated, and future systems should therefore be integrated.