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MRT to reroute as new station unveiled

Taipei's MRT network will reroute some of its lines to ease traffic at its downtown hub beginning today with the opening of a new major station.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday unveiled Dongmen Station, which will service tourists' favorite gourmet neighborhood around Yongkang Street.

Dongmen Station will open its doors to passengers at 6 a.m. today, which will also mark one of the MRT's biggest reroutings since it began operations more than 15 years ago.

The changes mostly affect the Zhonghe Line, which was opened in December 1997 and has run from New Taipei's Nanshijiao, through Yonghe, Guting, Taipei Main Station and on to Tamsui.

According to the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, the Zhonghe Line will now run from Nanshijiao to Guting, from where trains will go to Dongmen, Zhongxiao-Xinsheng, Minquan West Road and then to either Luzhou or Xinzhuang.

Passengers from Zhonghe and Yonghe heading for the Tamsui Line will have to change trains at Guting.

Hau said passengers from Zhonghe and Yonghe may have to adjust their routine, but the changes actually make it easier for them to transit to the east side of the city.

They will need to go up one floor to connect to the Nankang Line at Zhongxiao-Xinsheng, instead of having to walk long distances at Taipei Main Station.

For passengers from Xinzhuang and Luzhou, they will find it faster and easier to get to their destinations because of the rerouting, the mayor said.

Hau said at the unveiling ceremony that the Dongmen Station project overcame many technical difficulties, including the drilling of five crisscrossing tunnels, during its nine years and two months of construction.

He said the changes are meant to ease the heavy traffic at Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Rapid Transit explained that for some passengers, train fares will come down because of the rerouting.

Passengers from Nanshijiao to Xiangtian Temple along the Luzhou-Xinzhuang Line have had to pay NT$28 using the EasyCard for a trip that has had to change trains at Minquan West.

But now they can ride directly to Xiangtian Temple for only NT$24 when using an EasyCard.

The MRT is also offering discounted rates for passengers from Zhonghe and Yonghe for one month starting today.

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Banners reminding passengers of the Taipei MRT rerouting some of its lines are displayed at the Guting Station yesterday. Passengers from Zhonghe and Yonghe will have to change trains at Guting for the Tamsui Line starting today when the new Dongmen Station starts operation. (CNA)

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