Plan for new MRT line won't be changed: Ma
The China Post news staffThe China Post news staff--President Ma Ying-jeou pledged yesterday that the government's plan to build the Minsheng-Xizhi line of the Mass Rapid Transit system (MRT) in the Greater Taipei area will not be changed.
October 20, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Ma made the pledge at an opening ceremony for a fitness walking and mountain cleaning activity held at the Lovers Lake area, where the Keelung branch of the Chang Gung Medical Foundation is located.
The president attended the ceremony in the company of Timothy Chin-tien Yang, secretary-general to the president, Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung and Keelung City Council Speaker Huang Jin-tai.
The planned Mingsheng-Xizhi line will be 17.52-kilometers long, starting from Minsheng West Road in the Tatung District of Taipei to the Xizhi District Hall of New Taipei City. It will have a total of 15 stations, including eight underground stations and seven elevated ones.
Ma said that before the planned MRT line is completed, the state-run Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) will decrease the time between train arrivals, to better serve as many as 160,000 passengers a day.
Ma's remarks were warmly greeted by the public attending the fitness walking and mountain cleaning activity.
The president continued that he will attend on Sunday an inauguration ceremony following the installation of a new track between Nangang and Xizhi, which is part of the TRA's efforts to decrease the headway of its trains. With the completion of the third rail, the time between train arrivals can be sharply cut to 8 minutes from 15 minutes, he said.
Ma hoped the public would understand and support the government's efforts in this regard. His remarks were warmly greeted by over 1,000 people attending the fitness walking and mountain cleaning activity, who cheered “President Ma, go, go, go!”
Ma then went to the National Taiwan Ocean University, also in Keelung, to attend the 60th founding anniversary of the university. Speaking at the ceremony, Ma said when he studied in law school at Harvard University, he first majored in international law and then in maritime law, making him able to utilize what he learned in the fields this year.
First, Ma stressed, Taiwan and Japan signed a fishery agreement in April this year, allowing local fishermen to carry out fishing operations in expanded areas that are more than double the space of Taiwan. The agreement has realized the government's goal of expanding fishing rights without sacrificing Taiwan's sovereignty.
Second, Ma continued, the government has finally managed to get the Philippine government to deliver an official apology and make reasonable compensation to the family of a Taiwanese fisherman killed in May by Philippine Coast Guard officers in disputed waters. In addition, Manila also recommended homicide charges be brought against eight Philippine coastguardsmen for killing Hung Shih-cheng, the fisherman.
The president said as the two above-mentioned cases may involve maritime law, Ocean University should cultivate more related professional talent.