TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taichung's newly opened Taichung Mass Rapid Transit (TMRT) Green Line saw over 70,000 passengers on Monday (Nov. 16), the first day of free operations.
The Green Line can be ridden for free until official operations begin on Dec. 19. Visitors flocked from as far away as Taipei and Changhua to take a test ride Monday.
According to statistics from the TMRT Corporation, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., total ridership reached 70,977 passengers. Officials estimate that ridership will reach its peak over the weekend.
After taking the train from Songzhu Station to Taichung City Hall, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said she would consider allowing free rides during New Year's festivities to enable more people to experience it, reported CNA. She said she was moved by the excitement of the many young people who came out to try the trains and take photos.
According to the TMRT Corporation, the conditions on the Metro were "generally good" that day. However, some passengers complained that the doors did not remain open long enough at each stop, prompting the company to make adjustments.
Starting Tuesday, the company extended the number of seconds the doors remain open to accommodate the large number of riders. The doors are equipped with "anti-squeeze" sensors and will automatically open the door if triggered.
Although there are maintenance and security personnel at each station to help passengers get on and off the train, officials recommend that they board and disembark from the cars quickly to avoid accidents.
The Green Line is about 16.71 km in length and runs from Beitun Main Station to the High Speed Rail (HSR) Taizhong Station. There are 18 stations in total.
Among them, Songzhu, Daqing, Wuri, and HSR Taichung Station connect to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) trains. HSR Taichung Station provides access to the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) service.