Taipei MRT Luzhou Line passes final inspection


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Final inspection showed the Taipei mass rapid transit (MRT) system’s Luzhou Line had improved greatly since the preliminary inspection in September and proved satisfactory, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.

“I have participated in 13 final inspections since the operation of the Mucha Line, and this is so far the most satisfactory experience,” said Lawrence W. Lan, vice chairman of the inspection committee for the line.

There were 30 flaws remaining, however, including three major problems that needed to be fixed by the Taipei City government before operation could begin, the committee said.

Safety procedures were the main focus to the committee’s concern, which included the design of emergency exits, escalators and facilities for people with disabilities.

The Luzhou Line crew proved their ability to maintain operations under extreme situations, said Chen Yen-po, director of the MOTC’s Departmentof Railways and Highways and the chairman of the inspection committee.

During a simulated flooding incident, the crew successfully closed the flood gate, keeping the section beneath the Danshui River safe and operations unaffected, Chen said.

The Luzhou Line connects districts of Taipei City with the cities of Luzhou and Sanchong in Taipei County on the other side of the river, the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) of the city government explained.

Meanwhile, DORTS Deputy Commissioner Chang Pei-yi said he expects the Luzhou Line to start commercial operations by the end of October.

He said the operation commencement ceremony is likely to take place at Daqiao Elementary School Station located on the border of Taipei City and Taipei County.

This schedule was questioned by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) earlier this month when it claimed the Taipei City government was attempting to move the operating date forward to before the grand opening of the Taipei International Flora Expo on Nov. 6.

The DPP argued that the rush was in an effort to help boost support for incumbent Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin ahead of the Taipei municipality election on Nov. 27. Hau is seeking reelection.