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Record breaking year for Taipei's MRT network

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Taipei metro network has broken past records for yearly volume of passengers. From Jan. 1, 2010 until 9:30 a.m. yesterday, the amount incurred this year had reached 500 million, said Tan Kuo-kuang, the new chairman of the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

This record, said Tan, will meet the most important requirement to become a member of CoMET. CoMET stands for Community of METROs, an organization of world metro systems that have a volume of at least 500 million passengers a year.

Metro Taipei now is a member of Nova, a benchmarking group which provides medium-sized metropolitan railways around the world the ability to do performance comparison, pursue excellence and learn from each other. After becoming a member of CoMET, Metro Taipei will be able to do technical exchanges with the metro system corporations in some of the biggest cities in the world, such as London, New York, Paris and Moscow.

Tan expressed his appreciation for the support of the passengers, and promised to keep upgrading safety standards and service quality.

According to the metro's records, the volume of passengers in last two years was less than 460 million. The new record this year is attributed to the launch of the Luzhou line.

The metro corporation was not able to find out which passenger hit the 500 million mark, due to the great number of entrances and exits.

Tan said that the Taipei MRT started its service when the Muzha line was put in use on March 28, 1996. The lines that are now in operation include the Wenshan Lake line, Danshui line, Zhongxiao line, Xiaonanmen line, Xindian line, Nangang line, Banqiao line, Tucheng line and Luzhou line. There are 89 stations serving these lines.

Monthly volume in November reached 1,570,000, and 1,860,000 by Dec. 24.

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