Taipei, March 17 (CNA) A new tram-train system that will be constructed to link Keelung City and Taipei's Nangang District will likely span 19 kilometers and have nine stations, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Friday.
The system will use the Taiwan Railway Administration's (TRA) existing tracks and stations, MOTC Railway Reconstruction Bureau Secretary-General Wen Tai-hsin (溫代欣) said during his briefing with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on the proposed tram project.
The project is aimed at extending the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system to the port city with a tram line, making travel between Taipei and Keelung easier and giving commuters more options.
According to the proposed project, trams will leave their terminals three times every hour on off-peak hours.
Since the TRA already runs up to three Taipei-Nangang trains per hour during off-peak periods, once the tram-train system is completed, there will be a total of six trains every hour between the two destinations.
With this new type of commute, passenger capacity between Keelung and Taipei can also be increased, Wen said.
Meanwhile, a new transit terminal will be constructed on the Taipei end to facilitate commuters arriving from Keelung to transfer easily to the MRT Nangang line.
The tram-train system will adopt European-made trams which could carry a maximum of 400 passengers at a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour, he said, adding that the commuting time between the two terminals would be between 30 to 40 minutes.
The project, which would cost the government more than NT$8 billion (US$261.35 million,) could be ready by 2022.
As for the price of the tram tickets, Wen said that has not been decided because the construction plan has yet to be finalized.
(By Wang Shu-fen and Ko Lin)