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Work on airport MRT's Taipei section starts

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Construction work on the mass rapid transit (MRT) system's section in Taipei County that will connect to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport got underway yesterday.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said the project will not only create 1,000 jobs but will also cut travel time between capital Taipei and the Taoyuan International Airport to only 35 minutes.

The premier presided over a ceremony to kickstart simultaneously work at several construction sites located in Sanchong and Xinzhuang cities and Taishan township in Taipei County.

There will be five stations in the 13.2-kilometer section of the MRT line in Taoyuan County where the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is located.

The move signaled that construction work at all 13 different sites on the airport MRT line are now in full throttle. Transport service is set to begin in October 2014. But Premier Liu expressed hope that the construction work can be completed at an earlier date.

He said the project will help generate domestic consumption and speed up the economic recovery.

Local workers should be given priority in taking up the around 1,000 jobs that will be created and foreign laborers will be hired if contractors cannot fill up all the slots, he said.

When the MRT line comes into operation, travelers in Taipei should be able to reach the airport in 35 minutes by taking the non-stop express MRT service.

Outgoing travelers can get the airplane boarding pass and complete luggage transport procedures at the Taipei Main MRT Station, Wugu Station, and the Taoyuan Station of the high-speed rail system, similar to completing the same procedures at the airport terminal buildings.

This will be the world's third MRT-airport transport system providing such “city air terminal” services after Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Incoming travelers and people not in a hurry can take the ordinary MRT trains to travel through the 51.03-km line with 22 stations between Taipei and the international airport.

One politician of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party aspiring to run for a seat in the county assembly staged a protest when Premier Liu was officiating the groundbreaking ceremony.

He blamed the Kuomintang administration's inability to prop up Taiwan's economic activities.

Su Jun-pin, chief of the Government Information Office (GIO) and Cabinet spokesman, said the new government has effectively launched public construction projects long stalled during the previous DPP administration.

He said that after the KMT took office in late May last year, the percentage of public construction and procurement projects valued at over NT$1 million but failing to find contractors or suppliers dropped sharply to 3.46 percent in December from 9.71 percent in May.

Despite the deteriorating global economy, the portion of budget funds for idled public projects declined to 8.87 percent from a hefty 28.25 percent in the same period. Such figures proved the much improved administration efficiency under the new government, Su stressed.

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Work on airport MRT's Taipei section starts
Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo, center, looks at the models of some mass rapid transit (MRT) stations to be built on the line linking Taipei and the ...

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