Premier Su Tseng-chang traveled to New Taipei City on Sunday to inspect the first phase of construction on the mass rapid transit (MRT) Circular Line project as well as plans for the line's north section. With the first-phase section of the line expected to be built and ready for commuters by the end of the year, the next phase has been approved with a budget of nearly NT$140 billion (US$4.5 billion), he announced.
The second phase (north and south sections) will be a major construction undertaking as the ring it forms with the first-phase section will cross more than a dozen metro lines radiating outward from central Taipei.
The government is working aggressively to expand domestic demand, the premier continued. The Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and other major construction projects are expected to generate investment and production in related industries and stimulate the national economy. Rail construction projects will also provide more convenient transportation among Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan cities.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that the completed Circular Line will be able to carry up to 800,000 riders per day, bringing significant reductions in commuting time and individual transport vehicles on the road.