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Maokong Gondola reopens, featuring glass-bottomed car

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Maokong Gondola, which connects the Maokung area to MRT Taipei Zoo Station, has officially resumed service yesterday after a 17 month suspension.

The newest feature of Maokong is the cable car 66 that has a glass floor. It is running every day for the lucky passengers to have the floating in the air experience. The cable car used transparent strengthen glass as the floor. Normally each cable car can take eight passengers. As the maximum load of the glass-bottom cable is 640 kg, it can only take five passengers at once.

There is an animal-themed music clock at the waiting area at Taipei Zoo Station and it will tell the time every hour with special effects. There is also a fountain next to the station that has hourly water shows. There are also new customer service center, souvenir shop, themed restrooms, cable car models exhibition area and breastfeeding rooms.

Every day, 129 cable cars will be in service, which gives a maximum capacity of 2,000 passengers per hour. The 4.03-km long Maokong takes about 25 minutes for the whole ride. The gondola system includes four passenger stations.

The price for the gondola ride is NT$30 for one station, NT$40 for two, NT$50 for three or more stations. There is also a Maokong edition travel pass which allows passengers to have unlimited rides on the gondolas and other transportation.

The Maokong Gondola was started on July 4, 2007, and was closed since Oct. 2, 2008, after mudslides brought by typhoon Jangmi left support pillar T16 hanging 2.5 meters above the cliff. The government spent the previous one year and a half to relocate and reinforce the pillars and supporting slopes.

The six-day free test run last week had attracted 102,000 passengers.

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Maokong Gondola reopens, featuring glass-bottomed car
The Maokong Gondola resumed service yesterday, after a 17-month suspension. (The China Post staff )

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