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Taipei City Goverment

City News

Keelung Mayor Visits City Hall, Seeks Backing for MRT Line Extension

Mayor Hau Lung-bin met with Mayor Chang Tong-rong of Keelung City at city hall on January 4. Chang was accompanied by Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang and Keelung City Department of Transportation and Tourism Director-general Wang Tsun-hung.
One of the major topics that came up during their conversation was the possible extension of the MRT network to Keelung City. Chang asked for Hau’s support in linking the MRT Minsheng-Xizhi Line with Keelung’s Keelung Mountain Line. For the first phase of constructions, he hopes that the planned MRT Minsheng-Xizhi Line could be extended to Baifu Community in Keelung.
According to Director-general Wang, extending the MRT Minsheng-Xizhi Line by 4.25 kilometers will encourage substantial development in surrounding areas. While the project will require NT$8.5 billion, the estimated economic benefits could be as high as NT$102 billion.
Mayor Chang stressed that based on conservative estimates, nearly 160,000 Keelung residents either work or attend school in Taipei. Doing so would help commuters and encourage land developments for his city. For Taipei, it would mean the capital city has direct access to a sea port, as well as creating more options for future public and senior housing projects.
Director Wang Wei of the Comprehensive Planning Division under the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) pointed out that MRT Mingsheng-Xizhi Line serves many of the older districts of Taipei, fulfilling the expectations of many residents and citizen representatives.
However, he added that connecting the two lines would send the planners back to the drawing boards and require another environmental impact assessment. He suggests that a better approach would be for the construction of the two lines to proceed separately, promising that the MRT Xizhi District Office Station would leave room for linking to Keelung’s rapid transit system.
Mayor Hau said a “living circle” of Greater Taipei already existed. Given the close interaction between the mayors of the two cities, he expressed his emotional support for a sound policy. However, he noted that the two rapid transit plans are in different phases of construction, and it would be better if each proceeds at its own pace. Once both sides reach a consensus on concrete plans, he promised the city’s backing for Keelung, noting the experience of DORTS in planning and operations of mass transit systems.