The Green Line of the Taichung MRT today (the 25th) began its 30-day free test run and Mayor Lu Shiow-Yen in the early morning arrived at Beitun Terminal Station to ride on the first train departing for the Taichung City Government office at 6:00 AM. Mayor Lu accompanied citizens of Taichung to witness this historical moment. "We are good but we always want to be better!" said Mayor Lu. The Taichung City Government improved problems such as noise when over bending, speed acceleration when starting and duration for the train to close the door. Now during the trial run, passengers are provided with free riding experience and possible problems were further identified. Although the MRT in Central Taiwan was developed relatively late, yet the Taichung City Government made continuous improvements to meet high standards as the Taipei MRT. Test runs welcomed all riders from Taiwan.
After entering the Beitun Terminal Station, Mayor Lu was attracted by the ATM machine of the Little Green Cafeteria and purchased limited edition products including a reusable straw and stapler. Mayor Lu also showed her e-ticket with the Taichung MRT logo and a free copy of "the Taichung MRT Tour" that introduces surrounding scenic sites and gourmet foods near the 18 MRT stations. There are also coupons and the brochure has high collection value. Mayor Lu gave some copies to the students on her ride.
According to Mayor Lu, today is the day when the first MRT line in Taichung and Central Taiwan begins its test run after hard work and efforts of the Taichung City Government. This was a historical moment and she felt touched and excited. She hoped that the MRT stations will not only be places for people to transit but also become popular visiting sites. She also said that most riders on this morning’s first train are mostly the youth who demonstrate good etiquette. The Taichung City Government also improved concerns of passengers such as acceleration speed when starting, noise when over bending and lower volume of train broadcasting and other potential problems are expected to be identified during the test run.
Mayor Lu pointed out that although Central Taiwan built its MRT relatively late, yet the system is as good and innovative as the one in Taiwan. She expects that the Taichung MRT will outperform those in other cities. When asked about when she will take off her MRT uniform, Mayor Lu responded that she puts responsibility on herself and now during the test run, she will still continue put on the uniform. After the official operation of the Taichung MRT on April 25th, she will then take the uniform off.
A female student, Chen, from Shalu Industrial Vocational Senior High School said before she went to school on a bus and after the operation of the Taichung MRT, she will save on her commuting time by 30 minutes. She felt "very convenient." Student Shi said she rode on the MRT during the 1st test run and today, she especially came for a ride. Riding on the MRT for her was "an exciting and familiar experience." Additionally, around 4:30 in the morning, various riders were waiting for the first train outside Beitun Terminal Station. Mr. Lee who lives near the Taichung City Government Hall Station, today especially came to wait in the line for the train since he missed the 1st test run. Community Leader of Beitun, Beitun District, Li Wen-Chi, also praised the efforts of the Taichung City Government and agreed that only through test runs can potential problems be identified. He welcomed every rider.
Director General, Yeh Chao-Fu, said the Taichung City Government adjusted 17 city bus lines to coordinate with traffic around MRT stations and there were five new city bus lines operated to connect to the MRT. For the overlapping of two city bus line, #53 and 800, adjustments are expected to be made. iBike stations were installed near the 18 MRT stations to offer more convenient transit services. Furthermore, the wende-Chungde Station was designed with the image of CTBC Brothers and bus routes were about to be planned for baseball games.
According to the Taichung MRT Corporation, during the test run, the train schedule will run the same as that during official operations between 6:00 and 24:00 daily with the frequency of five minutes between trains at peak time and eight minutes during off peak times on weekdays while on weekends, trains will depart every eight minutes between 6:00 and 10:00 and 20:00 and 23:00 and every 5.5 minutes between 10:00 and 20:00. On both weekdays and weekends, after 23:00, trains will depart every 15 minutes and to respond to the needs of riders on the last THSR train, an additional Taichung MRT train will be offered at 0:15 every day from the THSR Taichung MRT Station heading for the Beitun Terminal Station.
The Taichung MRT Corporation pointed out that during the test run from today to April 23rd, passengers with e-tickets (EasyCard, iPass, and icash) will be able to enjoy their free rides on the Taichung MRT. For those without an e-ticket, they can inquire about ticket purchase at the service desk. To coordinate with the pandemic prevention measures, riders shall wear their masks when riding on the MRT. No food and drink is allowed after entering an MRT station. Give way to those who get off first before getting on the train. Hold the hand holder or stick tightly when riding to jointly protect riding safety and quality.