Taipei MRT (mass rapid transit), branded as Taipei Metro, is a rapid transit system serving greater Taipei, Taiwan. The system is built by DORTS Taipei and DRTS New Taipei, and is operated by TRTC, which also runs the Maokong Gondola. Metro consists of 108 stations (117 stations if transfer stations are double-counted) and 5 main routes and 2 branch lines, operating on 131.1 kilometres (81.5 mi) of revenue track. The system carried an average of around 2.10 million passengers per day in March 2016.
Taipei Metro is Taiwan's first metro system. Since it first began operations on 28 March 1996, the system has been effective in relieving some of Taipei's traffic congestion problems. The system has also proved effective as a catalyst for urban renewal, as well as increasing tourist traffic to outlying towns such as Tamsui. Conversions to existing railway lines were made to integrate them into the metro system.
The system operates according to a spoke-hub distribution paradigm, with most rail lines running radially outward from central Taipei. The MRT system operates from 6 am to midnight daily (the last trains finish their runs by 1 am), with extended services during special events (such as New Year festivities). Trains operate at intervals of 1.5 to 15 minutes depending on the line and time of day. Smoking is forbidden in the entire metro system, while eating, drinking, and chewing gum and betel nuts are forbidden within the paid area.
Stations become extremely crowded during rush hours, especially at transfer stations such as Taipei Main Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Minquan West Road. Automated station announcements are recorded in Mandarin, English, Taiwanese, and Hakka.
Prior to 2014, only physical lines had official names. Services were unnamed and identified by termini and colors. Between 2014 and 2016, the lines (services) were numbered based on the order of the dates the lines first opened. Brown, Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines were named Lines 1–5 respectively. The planned Circular, Wanda–Shulin and Minsheng–Xizhi lines were to be Lines 6–8 respectively. The system was scrapped in 2016. Today, colored icons coded BR, R, G, O and BL are used on maps and signs, along with full names. Chinese announcements use full names while English announcements use color names.
|Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
(Tamsui, New Taipei)
(Songshan, Taipei / Xinyi, Taipei)
(Xindian, New Taipei)
(Xindian, New Taipei)
(Xindian, New Taipei)
(Xinzhuang, New Taipei / Guishan, Taoyuan)
(Zhonghe, New Taipei)
(Luzhou, New Taipei)
|Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
(Tucheng, New Taipei)
Fares range between NT$20–65 (US$0.68–2.21) per trip as of 2018. RFID single journey tokens and rechargeable IC cards are used to collect fares for day-to-day use. Discounts are given to all IC card users and further for those with welfare cards provided by local governments. Other ticket types include passes, joint tickets with other services and tickets for groups and cyclists.
The Taipei Metro is one of the most expensive rapid transit systems ever constructed, with Phase One of the system costing US$18 billion and Phase Two (currently under construction) estimated to cost US$13.8 billion upon completion.
The idea of constructing the Taipei Metro was first put forth at a press conference on 28 June 1968, where the Minister of Transportation and Communications Sun Yun-suan announced his ministry's plans to begin researching the possibility of constructing a rapid transit network in the Taipei metropolitan area; however, the plan was shelved due to fiscal concerns and the belief that such a system was not urgently needed at the time. With the increase of traffic congestion accompanying economic growth in the 1970s, the need for a rapid transit system became more pressing. In February 1977, the Institute of Transportation (IOT) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) released a preliminary rapid transport system report, with the designs of five lines, including U1, U2, U3, S1, and S2, to form a rough sketch of the planned corridors, resulting in the first rapid transit system plan for Taipei.
In 1981, the IOT invited British Mass Transit Consultants (BMTC) and China Engineering Consultants, Inc. to form a team and provide in-depth research on the preliminary report. In 1982, the Taipei City Government commissioned National Chiao Tung University to do a research and feasibility study on medium-capacity rapid transit systems. In January 1984, the university proposed an initial design for a medium-capacity rapid transit system in Taipei City, including plans for Wenhu line and Tamsui–Xinyi line of the medium-capacity metro system. On 1 March 1985, the Executive Yuan Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) signed a treaty with the Taipei Transit Council (TTC), composed of three American consultant firms, to do overall research on a rapid transit system in metropolitan Taipei. Apart from adjustments made to the initial proposal, Wenhu line of the medium-capacity metro system was also included into the network. In 1986, the initial network design of the Taipei Metro by the CEPD was passed by the Executive Yuan, although the network corridors were not yet set. A budget of NT$441.7 billion (US$15.85 billion) was allocated for the project.
On 27 June 1986, the Preparatory Office of Rapid Transit Systems was created, which on February 23, 1987 was formally established as the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) for the task of handling, planning, design, and construction of the system. Apart from preparing for the construction of the metro system, DORTS also made small changes to the metro corridor. The 6 lines proposed on the initial network were: Tamsui Line and Xindian Line (Lines U1 and U2), Zhonghe Line (Line U3), Nangang Line and Banqiao Line (Line S1), and Muzha (now Wenhu) Line (Wenhu line medium-capacity), totaling 79 stations and 76.8 km (47.7 mi) route length, including 34.4 km (21.4 mi) of elevated rail, 9.5 km (5.9 mi) at ground level, and 44.2 km (27.5 mi) underground. The Neihu Line corridor was approved later in 1990. On 27 June 1994, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) was formed to oversee the operation of the Taipei Metro system.
The Executive Yuan approved the initial network plan for the system on 27 May 1986. Ground was broken and construction began on 15 December 1988. The growing traffic problems of the time, compounded by road closures due to TRTS construction led to what became popularly known as the "Dark Age of Taipei Traffic". The TRTS was the center of political controversy during its construction and shortly after the opening of its first line in 1996 due to incidents such as computer malfunction during a thunderstorm, alleged structural problems in some elevated segments, budget overruns, and fare prices.
The system opened on 28 March 1996, with the 10.5 km (6.5 mi) elevated Muzha Line, a driverless, medium-capacity line with twelve stations running from Zhongshan Junior High School to Taipei Zoo. The first high-capacity line, the Tamsui Line, began service on 28 March 1997, running from Tamsui to Zhongshan Station, then extended to Taipei Main Station at the end of the year. On 23 December 1998, the system passed the milestone of 100 million passengers.
On 24 December 1999, a section of the Banqiao/Nangang Line was opened between Longshan Temple and Taipei City Hall. This section became the first east-west line running through the city, connecting the two previously completed north-south lines. On 31 May 2006, the second stage of the Banqiao/Nangang Line and the Tucheng Line began operation.
On 4 July 2009, with the opening of the Neihu Line, the last of the six original lines was completed. Due to controversy on whether to construct a medium-capacity or high-capacity line, construction of the line did not begin until 2002.
On 17 September 2001, Typhoon Nari flooded all underground tracks as well as 16 stations, the heavy-capacity system operation control center, the administration building, and the Nangang Depot. The elevated Muzha Line was not seriously affected and resumed operations the next day. However, the heavy-capacity lines were not restored to full operational status until three months later. Following this incident, TRTS has devoted more resources to flood prevention in the underground system.
On 4 July 2007, the Maokong Gondola, a new aerial lift/cable-car system, was opened to the public. The system connects the Taipei Zoo, Chi Nan Temple, and Maokong. Service was suspended on 1 October 2008 due to erosion from mudslides under a support pillar following Typhoon Jangmi. The gondola officially resumed service as of 31 March 2010, after relocation of the pillar and passing safety inspections.
On New Year's Eve 2009 and New Year's Day 2010, the Metro system transported 2.17 million passengers in 42 consecutive hours. On 22 April 2010 after 14 years of service, the system achieved the milestone of 4 billion cumulative riders. On 29 December 2010, the system passed the benchmark of 500 million annual passengers for the first time. The record for single day ridership hit 2.5 million passengers during the New Year's Eve celebrations on 31 December 2010. Following opening of the Xinyi Line, the system reached another record of 2.75 million passengers on 31 December 2013.
In May 2016, the Singapore Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said that his country’s rail operators, SBS Transit and SMRT, should emulate the example of the Taipei MRT system. Speaking at a rail engineering forum, he cited the Taipei MRT’s timely maintenance and replacement of assets, as well as its fast response to rail network problems. Khaw said the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with the TRTC to attach staff from SBS and SMRT to its metro workshops, so they can learn from its asset maintenance practices and engineering improvements.
On 21 May 2014, 28 people were stabbed in a mass stabbing by a knife-wielding college student on the Taipei Metro Blue Line. The attack occurred on a train near Jiangzicui Station, resulting in 4 deaths and 24 injured. It was the first fatal attack on the metro system since it began operations in 1996. The suspect was 21-year-old university student Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), who was arrested at Jiangzicui Station immediately after the incident.
|Date started||Date amended||Terminus||Route||Terminus|
|March 1996||July 2009||Taipei Zoo||Zhongshan Junior High School|
|March 1997||December 1997||Tamsui||Zhongshan|
|December 1997||December 1998||Tamsui||Taipei Main Station|
|December 1998||November 1999||Tamsui||Nanshijiao|
|November 1999||November 2014||Tamsui||Xindian|
|November 1999||June 2013||Beitou||Nanshijiao|
|December 1999||August 2000||Taipei City Hall||Longshan Temple|
|August 2000||December 2000||Taipei City Hall||Xinpu|
|August 2000||November 2013||C.K.S. Memorial Hall||Ximen|
|December 2000||May 2006||Kunyang||Xinpu|
|May 2006||December 2008||Kunyang||Yongning|
|December 2008||February 2011||Nangang||Yongning|
|Far Eastern Hospital|
|July 2009||Current||Taipei Zoo||Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center|
|November 2010||January 2012||Zhongxiao Xinsheng||Luzhou|
|February 2011||July 2015||Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center||Yongning|
|Far Eastern Hospital|
|January 2012||September 2012||Zhongxiao Xinsheng||Luzhou|
|Fu Jen University|
|September 2012||June 2013||Nanshijiao||Luzhou|
|Fu Jen University|
|September 2012||November 2013||Beitou||Taipower Building|
|November 2013||November 2014||Beitou||Xiangshan|
|November 2013||November 2014||Taipower Building||Ximen|
|July 2015||Current||Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center||Dingpu|
|Far Eastern Hospital|
|Rapid Transit Ridership|
|Year||Millions of Journeys||±% p.a.|
Despite earlier controversy, by the time the first phase of construction was completed in 2000, it was generally agreed that the metro project was a success and has since become an essential part of life in Taipei. The system has been effective in reducing traffic congestion in the city and has spurred the revival of satellite towns (like Tamsui) and development of new areas (like Nangang). The system has also helped to increase average vehicle speed for routes running from New Taipei into Taipei. Property prices along metro routes (both new and existing) tend to increase with the opening of more lines.
Since the Taipei Metro joined the Nova International Railway Benchmarking Group and the Community of Metros (Nova/CoMET) in 2002, it has started collecting and analyzing data of the 33 Key Performance Indicators set by Nova/CoMET in order to compare them with those of other metro systems around the world, as a reference to improve its operation. Taipei Metro also has gained keys to success from case studies on different subjects such as safety, reliability, and incidents, and from the operational experiences of other metro systems.
According to a study conducted by the Railway Technology Strategy Centre at Imperial College London, and data gathered by Nova/CoMET, the Taipei Metro has ranked number 1 in the world for four consecutive years in terms of reliability, safety, and quality standards (2004–2007). The most congested route sections handle over 38,000 commuters per hour during peak times.
The Taipei Metro provides an obstacle-free environment within the entire system; all stations and trains are handicap accessible. Features include: handicap-capable restrooms, ramps and elevators for wheelchairs and strollers, tactile guide paths, extra-wide faregates, and trains with a designated wheelchair area.
Beginning in September 2003, the English station names for Taipei Metro stations were converted to use Hanyu pinyin before the end of December, with brackets for Tongyong Pinyin names for signs shown at the station entrances and exits. However, after the conversion, many stations were reported to have multiple conflicting English station names caused by inconsistent conversions, even for stations built after enactment of the new naming policy. The information brochures (臺北市大眾捷運系統捷運站轉乘公車資訊手冊) printed in September 2004 still used Wade–Giles romanizations.
To accommodate increasing passenger numbers, all metro stations have replaced turnstiles with speedgates since 2007, and single journey magnetic cards have been replaced by RFID tokens. TRTS provides free mobile phone connections in all stations, trains, and tunnels and also provides WiFi WLAN connections at several station hotspots. The world's first WiMAX-service metro trains were introduced on the Wenshan Line in 2007, allowing passengers to access the internet and watch live broadcasts. Several stations are also equipped with mobile charging stations.
Most stations on high-capacity lines have island platform configurations while a few have side platform configurations, and vice versa for medium-capacity lines (a few stations have island platform configurations but the majority of medium-capacity stations have side platform configurations). All high-capacity metro stations have a 150 m (490 ft) long platform to accommodate all six train cars on a typical metro train (with the exception of Xiaobitan). The width of the platform and concourse depends on the volume of transit; the largest stations include Taipei Main Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei City Hall. Some other transfer stations, including Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Guting, and Songjiang Nanjing, also have wide platforms.
Each station is equipped with LED displays and LCD TVs both in the concourse and on the platforms which display the time of arrival of the next train. At all underground stations, red lights along the platform edge (or on automatic platform gates at stations where they are installed) flash one minute prior to train arrival to alert passengers.
All the stations on the Brown Line and Xinzhuang/Luzhou Lines, as well as at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, are equipped with platform screen doors. High-traffic stations, including Taipei Main Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei City Hall, have platform gates to prevent passengers and other objects from falling onto the rails. For safety reasons, fifteen additional stations will be equipped with these gates in the future (including Ximen, Guting, and Banqiao). All lines and extensions currently under construction will be equipped with platform screen doors. A Track Intrusion Detection System has also been installed to improve passenger safety at stations without platform doors. The system uses infrared and radio detectors to monitor unusual movement in the track area.
As of 2008 there are 102 shops within the stations themselves.
In the initial network, important stations such as transfer stations, terminal stations, and stations with heavy passenger flow were chosen for the installation of public art. The principles behind the locations of public art were visual focus and non-interference with passenger circulation and construction schedules. The artworks included murals, children's mosaic collages, sculptures, hung forms, spatial art, interactive art, and window displays. The selection methods included open competitions, invitational competitions, direct assignments, and cooperation with children.
Stations with public art displays include: Shuanglian, National Taiwan University Hospital, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Guting, Gongguan, Xindian, Xiaobitan, Dingxi, Nanshijiao, Taipei City Hall, Kunyang, Nangang, Haishan, and Tucheng. Stations with art galleries include Zhongshan, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei Main Station.
The promotion for artwork continues today – the Department of Rapid Transit held a bid on providing public large scale artwork for the interiors of Sanchong Station. The bid is placed at over NTD 9 million.
Transfers to city bus stations are available at all metro stations. In 2009, transfer volume between the metro and bus systems reached 444,100 transfers per day (counting only EasyCard users). Connections to Taiwan Railway Administration and Taiwan High Speed Rail trains are available at Taipei Main Station, Banqiao and Nangang. Connections to Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station are available at Taipei Main Station and Taipei City Hall Station, respectively. The Maokong Gondola is accessible from Taipei Zoo.
Taipei Songshan Airport is served by the Songshan Airport Station. A metro system to connect Taipei to Taoyuan International Airport is also available since February 2017. Lines currently under construction will connect the system to additional TRA and THSR transfer stations.
Rolling stocks on the Taipei Metro are multiple unit rolling stocks, using a third rail to provide electricity (750 volts DC) for propulsion. Each train is equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) for a partial or complete automatic train piloting and driverless functions.
The medium-capacity trains are 6 ft 2 in (1,880 mm) gauge rubber-tired trains with no onboard train operators but are operated remotely by the medium-capacity system operation control center. The Wenshan-Neihu Line uses a fixed-block Automatic Train Control (ATC) system. Each train consists of two 2-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets, with a total of 4 cars. Each car is a closed end car where passengers cannot walk between cars unless the train stops and the doors are open.
The Wenshan Line was initially operated with VAL 256 trains cars, where two VAL 256 cars in the same set would share the same road number. As a result of this numbering scheme, the 102 cars of the VAL fleet have car numbers from 1 to 51. On June 2003, Bombardier was awarded a contract to supply the Neihu Line with 202 Innovia 256 train cars , to install the communications-based CITYFLO 650 moving-block ATC system to replace the fixed-block ATC system and also to retrofit the existing 102 VAL 256 cars with the CITYFLO 650 ATC system. Integration of Bombardier's trains with the existing Brown Line proved to be difficult in the beginning, with multiple system malfunctions and failures during the first three months of operation. Retrofitting older trains also took longer than expected, as the older trains must undergo several hours of reliability tests during non-service hours. The VAL 256 trains resumed operations in December 2010.
The AnsaldoBreda Driverless Metro will be used on the yellow line, which will be scheduled to be placed into service in June 2018 with the opening of the first section of the yellow line.
The heavy-capacity trains have steel wheels and are operated by an on-board train operator. The trains are computer-controlled. The operator, who is both motorman and conductor, is responsible for opening and closing the doors and making announcements. ATC controls all train movements, including braking, acceleration and speed control, but can be manually overridden by the operator in the case of an emergency.
Each train consists of two 3-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets with a total of 6 cars. Each 3-car EMU set is permanently coupled as DM-T-M, where DM is the motor car with cab, T is a trailer car and M is the motor car without cab. Each motor car has two AC traction motors. The configuration of a 6-car train is DM-T-M-M-T-DM, not interchanged with other car types. Like Toronto subway's Toronto Rocket and some of the New York City Subway's R211 subway cars, each train features open gangways, allowing passengers to move freely between cars.
In Set XXX, the road number of a DM car is 1XXX, the road number of a T car is 2XXX and the road number of an M car is 3XXX. The table below shows the set numbers of the heavy-capacity car types, which include Types C301, C321, C341, C371, and C381. For example, if the car numbers of a C301 train is 1001-2001-3001-3002-2002-1002, two C301 sets 001 and 002 form this train.
A single set cannot be in revenue service except C371 single sets 397-399, where their M car is exactly a DM car despite its car number being 3XXX. These single sets run exclusively on Xinbeitou Branch Line and Xiaobitan Branch Line. Before the C371 single sets were in revenue service on 22 July 2006, the M cars of C301 sets 013-014 were converted to temporary cab cars to run the Xinbeitou Branch Line.
In 2010, the new C381 was built for Taipei Metro to cope with increasing passenger ridership and the expansion of its network route. Upon entering service on 7 October 2012, three C381 trainsets are servicing the Beitou – Taipower Building segment of the Tamsui and Xindian Lines, with the remaining fleet being put into service on 20 October 2012. These trains provided much-needed capacity increase when the Xinyi and Songshan Lines opened in late 2013. After November 2014, the C381 trains are serving both Red Line (Tamsui-Xinyi Line) and Green Line (Songshan-Xindian Line)[needs update]. In addition to their assigned lines, the C381 sets are more distinctive than earlier heavy capacity models with double blue stripes and the re-positioning of the logo from the driver's door to well below of passenger's windows, right on the stripe; as well as the more "sleeker" cab and the new advertising screens (as seen in newer Japanese commuter trains such as the E233 series) to improve energy efficiency, although it retains the same propulsion as the C371s.
|VAL256 / 350||1990~1993||Matra and GEC Alsthom||13.78 m/
|Innovia 256 / 350||2006~2007||Bombardier||13.78 m/
|301||1992~1994||Kawasaki and URC||23.5 m/
|321||1998~1999||Siemens AG||23.5 m/
|341||2003||Siemens AG||23.5 m/
|371||2005~2009||Kawasaki and TRSC||23.5 m/
|321||301-338 (1st batch)
401-466 (2nd batch)
397~399 (for branch lines only)
|381||2010~2013||Kawasaki and TRSC||23.5 m/
The system currently has 8 depots, with more under construction.
|Depot Name||Year Opened||Location||Rolling Stock Housed||Line(s) Served|
|Muzha||1996||Wenshan, northeast of Taipei Zoo Station||VAL256|
|Beitou||1997||Beitou, southwest of Fuxinggang Station||Kawasaki C301, C381|
|Zhonghe||1998||Zhonghe, east of Nanshijiao Station||Kawasaki C371|
|Xindian||1999||Xindian, northwest of Xiaobitan Station||Kawasaki C371, C381|
|Nangang||2000||Nangang, southeast of Kunyang Station||Siemens C321, C341|
|Tucheng||2006||Tucheng, southwest of Far Eastern Hospital Station||Siemens C321, C341|
|Neihu||2009||Nangang, northeast of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Station||Innovia 256|
|Luzhou||2010||Luzhou, northeast of Luzhou Station||Kawasaki C371|
|Line||Planned opening date||Termini||Stations||Length (km)||Depot|
|Y||Circular Line Stage 1||June 2018||New Taipei Industrial Park||Dapinglin||14||15.4||South|
|Danhai LRT||Green Mountain Line||2019||Hongshulin Station||Kanding||11||7.34||Danhai|
|Blue Coast Line||Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf||Kanding||6||9.1|
|Wanda-Shulin||Wanda Line Stage 1||December 2020||CKS Memorial Hall||Zhonghe Senior
|x||Ankeng Line||2021||Shisizhang||Erbazi Botanical Garden||9||7.8||Erbazi|
|LB||Sanying Line Stage 1||2023||Dingpu||Yingtao Fude||12||14.29||Sanxia|
The Circular Line is an elevated, medium-capacity line currently under construction in New Taipei. The first section is scheduled to open in mid 2018. Stage I construction consists of the section from New Taipei Industrial Park to Dapinglin on the Xindian Line and will be about 15.4 km (9.6 mi) long with 14 stations. Ansaldo STS will supply electromechanical equipment for the line, including driverless technology and CBTC Radio signalling.
Construction has started on the road level part between station K1 and K5 so far. This should be a tram based LRT and although the official Transportation Department claims that this line is still under planning, work has been ongoing since April 2016. From station K6 to K9 the tracks will be elevated. The initial work between station K6 and K7 have been done and is clearly visible on Google maps. It's passing through a cemetery and will be going across Ankang Road. It's currently unknown when this line is planned to open, but as it connects to station Y7 on the Circular line which is still under construction, it's unlikely to open until that line is finished.
The following lines are currently in the planning stages:
|LG||Wanda-Zhonghe-Shulin Line||Zhonghe Senior
|Y||Circular Line North Section||Jiannan Road||Business Exhibition Center||11||14.3||East|
|Circular Line South Section||Dapinglin||Taipei Zoo||6||5.6|
|Sanying LRT||Yingtao Fude||Pade||2||3.7|
|Shezi, Shilin, and Beitou Light Rail Lines||Shezi||Tianmu||11||8.8|
|Danhai LRT||Sanzhi Extension Line||Kanding||St. John's University||4||Danhai|
|Blue Coast Line Stage 2||Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf||Tamsui||7|
|Bali Line||Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf||Bali||4||5.14|
|North-South Line||Jiannan Road||Xiulang Bridge||16||17.1|
|Shenkeng LRT||Taipei Zoo||Shiding Service Area||6||7.8|
This section needs to be updated.(June 2016)
As of February 2011, New Taipei has been pursuing the construction of the 17.52-km Minsheng-Xizhi Line, though the most recent plan was rejected by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, citing the need for further evidence for the line's viability. The city plans to re-submit the proposal, and the project is estimated to cost NT$42.2 billion (US$1.44 billion). A possible 4.25-km extension of the line to connect with Keelung's Lightrail Transit System is also being considered.
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