This shows how closely I follow the local news. This Taichung MRT thing (台中捷運) has been in the planning stages since 1990. In the past, my adult students told me that such a thing was probably 20 years in the future, if ever. Wikipedia says that the Green Line's construction was to begin in October 2007, but has been delayed indefinitely. (Hmmm...I wonder if they'll do the Blue Line first, now?)
The entry also points out that a proposed 2012 completion date could be a fantasy. Whenever it's completed, the first route will apparently go from Songzhu Rd in Beitun, down to the High Speed Rail Station in Wuer with 15 stations along a 16 km route.
On April 18th, the Taipei Times reported that the Taichung MRT lines were to be extended to include Dali and Taiping, our suburbs to the East and Southeast, as well as out to Taichung Harbor on the West Coast. The same article notes that 1km of rail line costs about NT$4 billion.
Yeah, so a couple years ago, students said two decades. Last week, a different group of students told me ten years, and last night, my wife put her chips down on five years. This probably means, five years for one line, ten for two, and twenty for all three. I'll breathe that fresh air when it replaces the scooter fumes.
Here are some artist's renditions of what a station might look like. And here's a little more from Tealit on the HSR coupling with MRT in cities up and down the island.
All I know is, if you are graduating in 2015 and looking for a place to go teach English, Taichung may or may not have an MRT system by then. Plan accordingly.
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