The Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT) system’s light rail line is to begin charging fares in November, the KMRT Bureau said yesterday.
Travel on the light rail line, the first of its kind in Taiwan, has been free since it opened in October 2015, but with the extension of the line this year a sharp increase in the number of passengers, a fare schedule will be established, bureau Director Wu Yi-long (吳義隆) said.
The line, which opened with four stops, was extended in June to the popular Pier-2 Art Center in Kaohsiung Port and has 14 stations.
Trams run from Lizihnei Station (C1) to Dayi Pier-2 Station (C12), with the section to Hamasen Station (C14) to open on Sept. 30.
Although fares are to be introduced in November, they will be half-price for the first two months, he said.
The 8.7km waterfront rail is part of the Kaohsiung Circular Line that was designed to complete the city’s metro service network.
There are about 13,000 passengers per day on work days and nearly 20,000 on weekends and holidays, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp said.
In related news, the city is to open an electric car rental station on Oct. 1 as part the its electric car-sharing system, the city’s Transportation Bureau said.
The station is to be at the No. 2 exit of the KMRT’s Sizihwan Station (西子灣), the bureau said, adding that five electric cars will be available for free during the month.
The city government in May signed a contract with the electric car rental company Unicar, it said.
Over the next two years, 50 electric car rental stations are to open, offering a total of 84 vehicles at a tentative rate of NT$150 per 30 minutes, it said.
The first 10 stations are to be set up by May next year near the high-speed rail system’s Zuoying Station (左營), railway stations, MRT stations, department stores and hospitals in the city.