First Stage of Light Rail System Ready to Kick off／高雄環狀輕軌 第一階段 蓄勢待發
First Stage of Light Rail System Ready to Kick off
◎English translation: Lin Fu-ju
◎Photos courtesy of Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit Bureau, Urban Development Bureau
Various infrastructure projects are propelling Kaohsiung into the future, and the city's constant transformation and improvement demands sustainable, forward-looking urban planning. The first stage of Kaohsiung's light-rail system is scheduled to be tested in November 2014 and opened to public in 2015. It is the first light-rail system in Taiwan. Safe, convenient and eco-friendly light-rail trains will represent a major milestone in Kaohsiung's public transportation system.
Kaohsiung City Government is focusing on enhancing its competitiveness, and is committed to the development of cultural, creative, tourism, exhibition and other industries. The Kaohsiung New Bay Area Project has been launched in the harbor zone, with total investment amounting to NT$20 billion. There are four major construction projects: Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, Kaohsiung Port Terminal, the Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center and Kaohsiung Main Public Library. The light-rail system will connect these four landmarks, providing efficient transportation in the post-development harbor area. It will make Kaohsiung a true harbor city full of tourist attractions and recreational opportunities.
Kaohsiung's light-rail loop is 22.1km long, with construction divided into two stages. The first stage, 8.7km long, routes through Kaohsiung Harbor World, Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, the Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center and Pier-2 Art Center. This Harbor Line links the following streets and attractions: Cianjhen Dispatching Station, Kaisyuan 3rd Road, Chenggong 2nd Road, Singuang Road, Yingsyong Road, Glory Pier, Love Pier, Pier-2 Art Center and Sizihwan Kaohsiung MRT Station. The light rail mainly follows the original harbor railway line. It will not, therefore, interfere with road traffic. The light rail, the city's bike trails, and pedestrian paths are being planned in an integrated manner to avoid interference.
With the launch of Kaohsiung's light-rail loop and its planned integration with the Kaohsiung MRT, the effectiveness of Kaohsiung's public transportation system is expected to advance. Since the Kaohsiung MRT's Red Line and Orange Line began operations in 2008, the Kaohsiung MRT has become a major form of transportation. Buses deliver and pick up MRT passengers from all corners to Kaohsiung MRT stations, turning the entire transit system into a radial-shaped network. With the launch of the light-rail loop (which is divided into four quadrants – I, II, III, and IV), the light rail and Kaohsiung MRT will become the main lines. Buses will provide circling shuttle services within each quadrant. The number of bus services will increase, yet bus routes will be shortened. Buses will stop at all Kaohsiung MRT and light rail stations without detours, so waiting times for passengers will be dramatically cut. In addition, light-rail trains have low floors, providing a disabled-friendly riding environment that will help promote public use of mass transportation.
高雄環狀輕軌 第一階段 蓄勢待發
隨著高雄環狀輕軌啟動，可望連結捷運路網，提升大眾運輸系統效益。2008 年十字路網規劃的高雄捷運紅線和橘線通車營運後，以捷運為主幹，公車為枝，將乘客從高雄市各個角落帶到捷運站，形成輻射型路網。輕軌通車後，輕軌環繞區域被劃分成四個象限(I,II,III, IV)，以輕軌和捷運為主線，公車在象限內純為接駁，成為循環公車，班距和路線均縮短，且各站都在捷運站和輕軌站，不必繞彎迂迴，大幅縮短候車時間，此外，低底盤的輕軌車輛提供無障礙乘車空間，方便旅客上、下車，也有助提高市民使用大眾運輸工具的意願。