Go With the Light Rail Transit! / 輕軌捷運我先行！
The City Government expects that with a thorough plan, Lingang Light Rail Ring Line will become a main component of downtown Kaohsiung's transportation network as well as a facilitator of the city's tourism. The Ring Line, together with development of nearby land, will contribute to the unique style of Kaohsiung, a closer relation between Kaohsiung and its residents, and the further development of Kaohsiung City.
The five-car light rail tram, the first one in the nation, has already started its free trail run at Urban Spotlight. Koahsiung City Government has strived hard to obtain a NT$500-billion- budget from the Central Government to build the Light Rail Lingang Ring Line. The Council for Economic Planning and Development has included this budget proposal on its priority list of privately conducted projects. The Executive Yuan has also included the budget proposal in its construction program in which it plans to spend NT$500 billion over 5 years. As soon as the Legislative Yuan approves the budget, constructors can start to bid for the four-and-half-year Light Rail Transit contract. According to the contract, the Light Rail section from Shihchung 1st Rd. to Chunghua 5th Rd. will be open to tram traffic first.
The unlimited increase on the number of automobiles has created problems such as air pollution, congestion, and urban environment deterioration. Our life quality has therefore decreased while the cost to society has increased. Building the Light Rail Transit System has become a new way to reduce the burden on the urban environment and to establish a sound living environment.
Currently Kaohsiung's Light Rail Transit System has only two lines-the red line and the orange line. It still cannot function as a transportation network reaching to every part of the city. That's why the City Government is striving to construct a Ring Line. The Light Rail Transit System is characterized by its speed, comfort, zero pollution, low noise, and low energy consumption. Being called as a form of "green transportation", Light Rail Transit is a major solution to congestion and environmental pollution for many cities in the world. It can also serve as a landmark in the city.
In the early days of Light Rail Transit, it was operated on the road and the car model was rather simple. In the eighties, Light Rail Transit was designed to eliminate urban congestion. However, most of the platforms at that time were pretty low to the ground while the trams had high floors. Passengers had to step onto stairs to enter the tram, which was very inconvenient for the disabled. The development of Light Rail Transit advanced tremendously in the nineties with passenger-friendly designs such as high platforms. Modern Light Rail Transit has a high capacity, low platforms, and low-floored cars. It is also very passenger-friendly, comfortable to ride, and blends well into cityscapes.
Kaohsiung Lingang Light Rail Ring Line
It will be 17 kilometers long. There will be a total of one control station and thirty-two tram stations. The construction budget is about NT$13.4 billion. After completion, Lingang Light Rail Ring Line will be linked with the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Line to form an even integrated network of mass transportation.
Destinations along the Lingang Light Rail Ring Line include: an intermodal transfer station of Taiwan High Speed Rail, Taiwan Railway, Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit; an academic, hospital, and recreation center; a shopping center; Kaohsiung Commerce and Trade Integration Park; Hamasen; Love River; Tzaishan.
In order to give the public a chance to experience the convenience of Light Rail Transit, Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit, Kaohsiung Rapid Transit, and Siemens have organized a trail run in Central Park. There have been almost 100,000 visitors to the trail-run exhibit. The trail run will last until March 25th. For those who have not yet gone to the exhibit, please seize the opportunity to take it all in.