Kaohsiung Light Rail System Marks a Cornerstone in Transportation Development
◎English translation: Tan Shu-jyun ◎Photo by Pao Chung-hui
The Kaohsiung light rail system will go into operation. This new important transportation artery will begin its trial operations from October, 2015. During this trial, passengers can ride for free between C1 Lizihnei and C4 Kaisyuan Jhonghua stations. The light rail system is not only Taiwan's first, but a pioneer by adopting catenary-free route. Kaohsiung's Mayor Chen Chu believes the light rail system will be a great catalyst in moving the city forward.
In the past, Taiwan's economy depended on Kaohsiung's petrochemical and heavy industry. However, it has taken a toll on the city's environment. Today, Kaohsiung is transforming its economy from heavy industry into one that is based on tourism, environment, culture and creativity. The city's transportation systems are a key factor in making such transformations possible. The light rail system will certainly give a strong boost to Kaohsiung's effort in becoming a greener city and developing its tourism sector. "Pollution, combined with overdevelopment, has caused droughts, floods and extreme weather. Therefore, Kaohsiung has had no choice but to develop more green initiatives", explains Mayor Chen Chu.
The light rail system provides tourists with a new way of exploring Kaohsiung, making it easy to take in its beautiful scenery and landmarks. With its interconnected circular line, it will not only complement the existing bus lines but also the Mass Rapid Transit's Red and Orange lines. Passengers can easily access Asia's New Bay Area such as Kaohsiung's beautiful bay-front Main Public Library, the Maritime Cultural & Popular Music Center, Kaohsiung Exhibition Center and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal. The route also includes the older more traditional areas, such as the revitalized century-old historical buildings in the Yancheng and Hamasen Districts. It will connect Kaohsiung's past and present with its new buildings and historical local culture.
"Kaohsiung's light rail system will carry our city forward! Come and see Kaohsiung's transformation and beauty!" says Mayor Chen.