Taipei Metro

Taipei Metro
Taipei Metro Logo(Logo Only).svg
TRTC381 in Beitou Station.JPG
A 381 stock near Beitou
Native name臺北捷運
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese臺北捷運
Simplified Chinese台北捷运
Taipei Rapid Transit System
Traditional Chinese臺北大眾捷運系統
Simplified Chinese台北大众捷运系统
OwnerTaipei City Government
Area servedTaipei and New Taipei, Taiwan
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines5[1]
Number of stations117[1]
Annual ridership765.47 million (2018)
Chief executiveBC Yen
Headquarters7 Lane 48 Sec 2 Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District,
Began operation28 March 1996
Operator(s)Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation
CharacterFully grade separated
Number of vehicles217.5[2]
Train length6
Headway2017 figures:[3]
  • Wenhu line
    • Minimum 1:20 min
    • Peak average 2:09 min
    • Off-peak average 4:10 min
  • Other lines
    • Minimum 2:00 min
    • Peak average 4:02 min
    • Off-peak average 5:27 min
System length131.1 km (81.5 mi)
No. of tracks2
Track gauge
Minimum radius of curvature
  • 33 metres (108 ft) (Wenhu line)
  • 200 metres (656 ft) (other lines)
ElectrificationThird rail 750 V direct current
Average speed
  • 32.84 kilometres per hour (20 mph) (Wenhu line)
  • 31.50 kilometres per hour (20 mph) (other lines)
Top speed
  • 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) (Wenhu line)
  • 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph) (other lines)
Official map

Taipei Metro official map 2019 optimised.png

The Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT),[4] branded as Taipei Metro,[5] is a metro system serving Taipei and New Taipei, Taiwan, operated by government owned Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, which also operates Maokong Gondola.

Taipei Metro was the first metro system in Taiwan.[6] The initial network was approved for construction in 1986 and work started two years later.[7] The first line opened in 1996 and by 2000, 62 stations were in service on three main lines.[8] Over the next 9 years the number of passengers had increased by 70%. Since 2008, the network has expanded to 117 stations and the passenger count has grown by another 66%.

The system has often been praised for its safety, reliability and quality.[9][10][11] It has become effective in relieving traffic congestion in Taipei, with over two million trips made daily.[12] The system has also proven effective as a catalyst for urban renewal.


Proposal and construction

The initial network plan approved by the Executive Yuan in 1986

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[14] 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.[14] On March 1, 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.[7] A budget of NT$441.7 billion was allocated for the project.[15]

On 27 June 1986, the Preparatory Office of Rapid Transit Systems was created,[16] which on 23 February 1987 was formally established as the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) for the task of handling, planning, design, and construction of the system.[15] 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:[14] 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,[15] 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.[16] 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.[7] Ground was broken and construction began on 15 December 1988.[7] 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.

Initial network

2004 official map as seen in the annual report

The system opened on 28 March 1996, with the 10.5 km (6.5 mi) elevated Wenhu line, a driverless, medium-capacity line[7] with twelve stations running from Zhongshan Junior High School to Taipei Zoo. The first high-capacity line, the Tamsui–Xinyi line, began service on 28 March 1997, running from Tamsui to Zhongshan, 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.[17]

On 24 December 1999, a section of the Bannan line was opened between Longshan Temple and Taipei City Hall.[7] 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 section and the Tucheng section began operation.[7] The service was then named Bannan after the districts that it connects (Banqiao and Nangang).

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, Zhinan Temple, and Maokong. Service was suspended on 1 October 2008 due to erosion from mudslides under a support pillar following Typhoon Jangmi.[18] The gondola officially resumed service as of 31 March 2010, after relocation of the pillar and passing safety inspections.[19]

2009–2014 expansions

On 4 July 2009, with the opening of the Neihu section of Wenhu line, the last of the six core sections 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.[20]

Zhonghe–Xinlu line was extended from Guting to Luzhou and Huilong in 2012. The Xinyi section of Tamsui–Xinyi line and Songshan section of Songshan–Xindian line were opened on 24 November 2013 and 15 November 2014 respectively.

Prior to 2014, only physical lines had official names; services did not. In 2008, the Tamsui–Xindian–Nanshijiao and Xiaonanmen services were referred to by termini[21][22] while Bannan and Wenhu services were referred to by the physical lines on which they operated[23][24].

Following the completion of the core sections of the system in 2014, the naming scheme for services was set and 'lines' started to referred to services. Between 2014 and 2016, lines were given alternative number names based on the order of the dates the lines first opened. Brown, Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines were named lines 1 to 5 respectively. The planned Circular, Wanda–Shulin and Minsheng–Xizhi lines were to be lines 6 to 8 respectively. In 2016, the number names were replaced by colour names. Today, Chinese announcements use full names while English announcements use colour names.

Timeline of services

Date started Date amended Terminus Route Terminus
1996-03 2009-07 Taipei Zoo Taipei Metro Line BR.svg Zhongshan Junior High School
1997-03 1997-12 Tamsui Taipei Metro Line R.svg Zhongshan
1997-03 Current Beitou Taipei Metro Line R.svg Xinbeitou
1997-12 1998-12 Tamsui Taipei Metro Line R.svg Taipei main station
1998-12 1999-11 Tamsui Taipei Metro Line R.svg Taipei Metro Line O.svg Nanshijiao
1999-11 2014-11 Tamsui Taipei Metro Line R.svg Taipei Metro Line G.svg Xindian
1999-11 2013-06 Beitou Taipei Metro Line R.svg Taipei Metro Line O.svg Nanshijiao
1999-12 2000–08 Taipei City Hall Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Longshan Temple
2000–08 2000–12 Taipei City Hall Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Xinpu
2000–08 2013-11 CKS Memorial Hall Taipei Metro Line G.svg Ximen
2000–12 2006-05 Kunyang Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Xinpu
2004–09 Current Qizhang Taipei Metro Line G.svg Xiaobitan
2006-05 2008–12 Kunyang Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Yongning
2008–12 2011-02 Nangang Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Yongning
Far Eastern Hospital
2009-07 Current Taipei Zoo Taipei Metro Line BR.svg Nangang Exhib Center
2010–11 2012-01 Zhongxiao Xinsheng Taipei Metro Line O.svg Luzhou
2011-02 2015-07 Nangang Exhib Center Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Yongning
Far Eastern Hospital
2012-01 2012-09 Zhongxiao Xinsheng Taipei Metro Line O.svg Luzhou
Fu Jen University
2012-09 2013-06 Nanshijiao Taipei Metro Line O.svg Luzhou
Fu Jen University
2012-09 2013-11 Beitou Taipei Metro Line R.svg Taipei Metro Line G.svg Taipower Building
2013-06 Current Nanshijiao Taipei Metro Line O.svg Luzhou
2013-11 2014-11 Beitou Taipei Metro Line R.svg Xiangshan
2013-11 2014-11 Taipower Building Taipei Metro Line G.svg Ximen
2014-11 Current Tamsui Taipei Metro Line R.svg Xiangshan
Beitou Daan
2014-11 Current Songshan Taipei Metro Line G.svg Xindian
Taipower Building
2015-07 Current Nangang Exhib Center Taipei Metro Line BL.svg Dingpu
Far Eastern Hospital
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