Over 13 years, after meeting and overcoming several challenges for building the Taichung MRT green line, the Taichung City Government today (the 25th) announced its formal run. Mayor Lu Shiow-Yen was thankful for the support received from the incumbent and former Presidents of the ROC, former mayors of Taichung, the Central Government, the Taipei City Government and the citizens in Taichung to complete this tremendous task and to witness the historical moment, the completion of Taichung’s first MRT line. The successful completion of this foundation task marked a new era in Taichung’s transportation!
This morning the Taichung City Government held the opening ceremony of the MRT Green Line at the City Hall Station. Mayor Lu, President Tsai Ing-wen, former President, Ma Ying-jeou, Vice Premier, Shen Jong-chin, Vice President of the Legislative Yuan, Tsai Chi-Chang, Deputy Minister of the Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Chen Yen-Po, Mayor of Taipei City, Ko Wen-Je, former Mayor of Taichung, Jason Hu and former Mayor of Taipei City, Hau Lung-pin jointly pressed the symbolic LED light of MRT train to declare the formal run of the Taichung MRT at 12:00 at noon.
According to President Tsai, the Taichung MRT has been the dream of citizens in Taichung and today, she was happy to witness its formal run. After long years of waiting, Taichung now finally entered the MRT era. She would like to thank the efforts of all partners for making the dream of citizens in Taichung come true. She said that in the future, continuous efforts of the Taichung MRT partners are essential and that she wished “safe and smooth operations of the Taichung MRT system!”
President Tsai also said that the successful Taichung MRT construction is an achievement made through the cooperation between the Central Government and the Taichung City Government. Taiwan recently has been facing its worst drought and the military provided assistance to the drought relief. Mayor Lu also cared about the relevant drought relief works and showed her willingness to cooperate with the Central Government to jointly cope with the drought. In the future, the Taichung MRT Green Line was expected to expand to Dakeng and to connect with the Blue Line. The Central Government promised to support the expansion with a visionary budget to build a more convenient track network in Central Taichung. She emphasized that Taichung plays an important role in Taiwan’s continuous economic growth and the formal run of the Green Line surely will bring more value and opportunities to the development of Central Taiwan.
Vice Premier, Shen Jong-chin said through the cooperation among the MOTC, the Taichung City Government and the Taipei City Government, the Taichung MRT Green Line was successfully completed. The Green Line enabled the connection between Taiwan High Speed Rails (THSR), the Taiwan Railway and the Taichung MRT. The trip from THSR Wuzi Station to the Taichung City Hall now only takes 18 minutes. The proposal of the Taichung MRT Blue Line submitted by the Taichung City Government was, in principle, approved by the MOTC and completion of the Blue Line was expected to form the connected traffic network by linking up to the Green Line for transit to every part of Taichung from the Taichung Hall Station. The Central Government will provide Taichung full support to its transportation construction.
According to Mayor Lu, the MRT Green Line has been a track construction project that citizens in Taichung have long been looking forward to. In 2008 when she served as a legislator, she actively looked for support for the project and as the Chair of the Financial Budget Review Committee, she arranged the meeting between former MOTC Minister, C.K. Mao, and the transportation team of the former Mayor of Taichung, Jason Hu, to discuss and negotiate the transportation budget of Taichung’s three major transportation projects. Because of the clear budget plan, former Minister, C.K. Mao, former Mayor, Jason Hu and former Mayor Hau Lung-pin signed the MOU for a trilateral cooperation. Then in 2009, former President, Ma Ying-jeou and former Mayor Jason Hu jointly attended the groundbreaking ceremony to declare the beginning of the Great Taichung MRT project.
Mayor Lu said last year, the test run of the MRT was suspended due to a coupler breakdown and she since then dressed in the uniform of the Taichung MRT Corporation to show her support with her staff. She finally planned to doff the uniform after the formal run but expressed that “I will doff the uniform tomorrow but I will always carry the burden.”
Mayor Lu emphasized that this is just the beginning of the Taichung MRT and the Taichung City Government now had two new missions: “safe operations” to put the safety of MRT riders as the first priority and to ensure citizens in Taichung are able to enjoy their new MRT life; “building the MRT network” for as Taiwan’s second largest city, a line of the MRT system is not enough for Taichung. The Taichung City Government enacted “the MRT Project for the Greater Taichung” and was just approved by the MOTC this month. In the future, the Taichung City Government will actively construct a convenient transportation environment for Greater Taichung.
Mayor Lu also showed her appreciation to the Taichung City Government Transportation Bureau, Taichung MRT Corporation and the Department of Rapid Transit Systems, the Taipei City Government. She said in order to complete this MRT line, she requested highest standards with a serious attitude and the MRT team also made their best efforts to complete the mission, especially the engineering technicians including Director Hung Tsung-Kun, in charge of civil engineering, Director Chang Yung-Chang, in charge of water environment, Vice Chief Engineer Cheng Mao-Shen and Director Li Zheng-Zhong, in charge of electrical and mechanical services from the Department of Rapid Transit Systems, the Taipei City Government who has been dispatched and stationed in Taichung since 2009. In order to thank them for their hard work to build Taichung’s first MRT line, Mayor Lu announced their names loudly. They are heroes that we shall always remember.
Mayor Lu added that the citizens in Taichung almost lost their confidence in the more than 13-year long construction of the Taichung MRT and therefore, after taking over the office, she promised to “complete these impossible missions including the connection project of Dazhi Rd. and the completion of the Taichung MRT Green Line.” She said today, we have kept our promise and again, she thanked the President and each staff member. She apologized for the inconvenience brought to the public during the MRT construction and appreciated the great support to the Taichung City Mass Rapid Transportation Bureau.
Mayor of Taichung City, Ko Wen-Je, said that transportation construction is the foundation for national development. Mass transportation construction needs to consider urban development and is a difficult task. Entrusted by the Taichung City Government, the Department of Rapid Transit Systems and the Taipei City Government finally completed the project and transferred it to operations by the Taichung MRT Corporation. He also shared his Taipei MRT experience by saying that the equipment needs to be continuously upgraded according to the needs and public use. For example, more elevators were added to the Taipei MRT to improve the barrier free design. During the test run, the Taichung MRT exceeded the ridership by more than 2.13 million people times. It was because of everyone’s effort that the Taichung MRT has been completely built. He wished for the successful operations of the Taichung MRT.