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Over 10,000 affected by MRT Wenhu Line glitch

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Over 10,000 passengers were affected by a four-hour delay on the Taipei MRT Wenshan-Neihu (Wenhu) line caused by malfunctioning signaling equipment, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) announced yesterday.

The TRTA said that about 10,000 passengers were affected by the incident and 141 free shuttle buses were scheduled by the TRTA to transport passengers to their destinations.

Over 2,940 free bus tickets along with 50 free MRT tickets were handed out due to the incident, the TRTA said, and 146 one-way MRT tickets were refunded.

According to the TRTA, based on initial investigations, the incident resulted from an abnormal signal at Donghu station that activated an automatic safety system and stopped the operation of all trains traveling from Wende and Nangang Exhibition Center.

According to the TRTC, signaling equipment broke down at 7:31 a.m. yesterday between Wende Station and Nangang Exhibition Center Station; trains resumed service around 11:45 a.m. but southbound trains were not able to stop at Donghu Station until 2:34 p.m.

Taipei City Government spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) said that Taipei Metro always puts passenger safety first, so whenever the TRTA encounters abnormal situations, technicians conduct complete inspections to make sure everything is operating safely.

Chang said that if this incident is found to have been caused by negligence then the Taipei City Government will punish those involved according to regulations.

Although the TRTA scheduled over 100 buses as a replacement service, some passengers complained that, despite being one of the first metro lines to be launched, the Wenhu Line still often experiences malfunctions.

As the incident took place on a Saturday, fewer commuters were affected than would have been the case had the incident occurred on a weekday. However, some passengers who had to go to work at Nangang Software Park were affected by the delays.

Technological and vocational education entrance examinations for vocational and comprehensive high school students were also taking place yesterday and many students who were on their way to exams were affected by the incident.

The Testing Center for Technological and Vocational Education said that, based on similar incidents in the past, students cannot receive bonus points owing to such incidents and must leave home early for exams if they are to avoid being affected by similar incidents in the future.

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A passenger reads a sign posted inside a Taipei MRT Wenshan-Neihu line station, yesterday. About 10,000 passengers were affected by a four-hour delay on the line that was caused by malfunctioning signaling equipment, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation announced yesterday. (CNA)

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