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2 hours February 27, 2017

Posted by hslu in Taipei, Taiwan, Travel.
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What: Riding the new Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT, commonly known as 機場捷運。

Who:People going to 長庚,林口,桃園國際機場 and 桃園 from the Taipei main station.

Where: Taipei main Station and Linkou station.

When: 2/27/2017,Monday afternoon at 3

Why: Try the newest Taipei metro line 

How much: Free

Time to get on the MRT: about 2 hours at the Taipei main station.

Wait line: about 8,000 (my guess) people waiting in line to get on.

This is the end of the line. Check out the mobile sign in the crowd. The poor metro worker uses a PA to warn people that it takes 2 hours to get on the MRT from this location.

The line upstairs is still many minutes away from the MRT entrance. People below, us included, just left the station. There are at least four levels from the street level to the track. 

You have no idea how many people taking the advantage of a long (4 days because of 2-28) weekend and free pass to go to Linkou and beyond. Of the 9 stations between Linkou and Taipei main station, Linkou had the highest riders existing the MRT. Why? The Mitsui Linkou Outlet.

This picture was taken when we left the Linkou station. Most, probably all, people on the down escalator are going to Linkou Outlet.

Each of the Taoyuan Airport MRT train has 4 cars and each car takes about 300 people at capacity. During the testing period (one month which ends on Wednesday, 3/1) trains leave the station at 15 minute interval. When it is fully operational, the interval will be 3.75 minutes.

The highest speed I’ve ever observed was 93 km/hour. Most of the time, it traveled considerablly slower than that.

Very few people came for the test ride because it was a work day. Light rain didn’t help either.

Even TV station came to Linkou station to see what’s going on on the 2nd day of the testing period. Not a whole lot of people using this free service.

A bank of brand new ticket machines.

Before the Taoyuan Airport Access MRT began its free service, hardly a soul walked between the Linkou station and the Mitsui Outlet. The crowd the “free” MRT brings in to the outlet is simply unbelievable. But will it bring in more business opportunities after the free rides end?

Well, I am pretty sure that after the free-ride period ends in early April, ridership on this airport access metro line will drop because the ticket price for the ride from Linkou to Taipei main station will be $80 each way, 2.67 times the cost of a bus ride. 

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