Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Future of the MRT

I found an English-language map of what the Taipei MRT (mass rail transit system) is going to look like in a few years.

Since the current MRT is clearly a work in progress (the work being done on the new XinYi subway line is obvious to everyone who visits that part of Taipei), I'm not surprised to see all of the new lines and stations. That said, they seem to be getting ready for a major re-alignment of the downtown lines.

In the current configuration, I can get on the subway in Nanshijiao and take it directly to Taipei Main Station, or go on to Shilin (Jenna works in Shilin and besides it's a neat neighborhood, so that's convenient for me). In the future, judging by that map, it looks like trains from Nanshijiao are going to end up on a new Orange Line, which will go under downtown Taipei and then turn west, and if I want to go to Shilin I'll have to transfer trains. Of course, I'm not going to live near Nanshijiao long-term. Nothing's going to happen before 2008, and the major new lines won't begin opening until 2009-2011.

I shouldn't complain, as the MRT expansion is providing service to places where rail service was conspicuously absent before (Tianmu, Neihu, and most of suburban Taipei, for starters).

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