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Taipei Metro

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Taipei Metro
Top: Heavy-capacity Taipei Metro train Bottom: Medium-capacity Taipei Metro Train
Top: Heavy-capacity Taipei Metro train Bottom: Medium-capacity Taipei Metro Train
Native name臺北捷運[I]
OwnerTaipei City Government
LocaleTaipei and New Taipei
Transit typeRapid transit
Rubber-tyred metro (Wenhu line)
Number of lines5[a][1]
Number of stations117[b]
Daily ridership7.86 million (2023)
Annual ridership918,360 million (2023) Increase 60.58%[2]
Chief executiveBC Yen
Headquarters7 Lane 48 Sec 2 Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei
Began operation28 March 1996
Operator(s)Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation
Number of vehicles849 cars (217.5 trains[c])
Train length3–6 carriages[d]
Headway5 min 28 s[e]
System length152.9 km (95.0 mi)[1]
No. of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge[f]
Minimum radius of curvature200 metres (656 ft)[g]
Electrification750 V DC third rail
Average speed31.50 kilometres per hour (20 mph)[h]
Top speed80 kilometres per hour (50 mph)[i]
Taipei Metro
Traditional Chinese臺北捷運
Simplified Chinese台北捷运
Taipei Rapid Transit System
Traditional Chinese臺北大眾捷運系統
Simplified Chinese台北大众捷运系统

Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT),[3] branded as Metro Taipei,[I][4] is a rapid transit system serving the capital Taipei and New Taipei City in Taiwan.

It was the first rapid transit system to be built on the island.[5] The initial network was approved for construction in 1986 and work began two years later.[6] It began operations on March 28, 1996, and by 2000, 62 stations were in service across three main lines.[7]

Over the next nine years, the number of passengers had increased by 70%. Since 2008, the network has expanded to 131 stations and the passenger count has grown by another 96%.[citation needed] The system has been praised by locals for its effectiveness in relieving growing traffic congestion in Taipei and its surrounding satellite towns, with over eight million trips made daily.[8]

Most trains were built by Japanese, South Korean, and German companies.[9][10][11]


Proposal and construction[edit]

2023 official map of Taipei Metro

The idea of constructing a rapid transit system on the island was first put forth at a press conference on 28 June 1968, where the Minister of Transportation and Communications Sun Yun-suan announced his ministry's plans to begin researching the possibility of constructing such a network in the Taipei metropolitan area; however, the plan was shelved due to financial concerns and the belief that such a system was not urgently needed at the time. With the increase of traffic congestion accompanying economic growth in the 1970s, the need for a rapid transit system became more pressing.[12] In February 1977, the Institute of Transportation (IOT) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) released a preliminary rapid transport system report, with the designs of five lines, including U1, U2, U3, S1, and S2, to form a rough sketch of the planned corridors, resulting in the first rapid transit system plan for Taipei.[13]

In 1981, the IOT invited British Mass Transit Consultants (BMTC) and China Engineering Consultants, Inc. to form a team and provide in-depth research on the preliminary report.[13] In 1982, the Taipei City Government commissioned National Chiao Tung University to do a research and feasibility study on medium-capacity rapid transit systems. In January 1984, the university proposed an initial design for a medium-capacity rapid transit system in Taipei City, including plans for Wenhu line and Tamsui–Xinyi line of the medium-capacity metro system.[13] On March 1, 1985, the Executive Yuan Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) signed a treaty with the Taipei Transit Council (TTC), composed of three American consultant firms, to do overall research on a rapid transit system in metropolitan Taipei. Apart from adjustments made to the initial proposal, Wenhu line of the medium-capacity metro system was also included into the network. In 1986, the initial network design of the Taipei Metro by the CEPD was passed by the Executive Yuan, although the network corridors were not yet set.[6] A budget of NT$441.7 billion was allocated for the project.[14]

On 27 June 1986, the Preparatory Office of Rapid Transit Systems was created,[15] which on 23 February 1987 was formally established as the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) for the task of handling, planning, design, and construction of the system.[14] Apart from preparing for the construction of the metro system, DORTS also made small changes to the metro corridor. The 6 lines proposed on the initial network were:[13] Tamsui line and Xindian line (Lines U1 and U2), Zhonghe Line (Line U3), Nangang Line and Banqiao Line (Line S1), and Muzha (now Wenhu) line (Wenhu line medium-capacity), totaling 79 stations and 76.8 km (47.7 mi) route length,[14] including 34.4 km (21.4 mi) of elevated rail, 9.5 km (5.9 mi) at ground level, and 44.2 km (27.5 mi) underground.[15] The Neihu Line corridor was approved later in 1990. On 27 June 1994, the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) was formed to oversee the operation of the Taipei Metro system.

The Executive Yuan approved the initial network plan for the system on 27 May 1986.[6] Ground was broken and construction began on 15 December 1988.[6] The growing traffic problems of the time, compounded by road closures due to TRTS construction led to what became popularly known as the "dark age of Taipei traffic". The TRTS was the center of political controversy during its construction and shortly after the opening of its first line in 1996 due to incidents such as computer malfunction during a thunderstorm, alleged structural problems in some elevated segments, budget overruns, and fare prices.

Opening and Initial network[edit]

The system opened on 28 March 1996, with the 10.5 km (6.5 mi) elevated Wenhu line, a driverless, medium-capacity line[6] with twelve stations running from Zhongshan Junior High School to Taipei Zoo. The first high-capacity line, the Tamsui–Xinyi line, began service on 28 March 1997, running from Tamsui to Zhongshan, then extended to Taipei Main Station at the end of the year. On 23 December 1998, the system passed the milestone of 100 million passengers.[16]

1999–2006 Expansions[edit]

On 24 December 1999, a section of the Bannan line was opened between Longshan Temple and Taipei City Hall.[6] This section became the first east–west line running through the city, connecting the two previously completed north–south lines. On 31 May 2006, the second stage of the Banqiao–Nangang section and the Tucheng section began operation.[6] The service was then named Bannan after the districts that it connects (Banqiao and Nangang).

Maokong Gondola[edit]

On 4 July 2007, the Maokong Gondola, a new aerial lift/cable-car system, was opened to the public. The system connects the Taipei Zoo, Zhinan Temple, and Maokong. Service was suspended on 1 October 2008 due to erosion from mudslides under a support pillar following Typhoon Jangmi.[17] The gondola officially resumed service as of 31 March 2010, after relocation of the pillar and passing safety inspections.[18]

2009–2014 expansions[edit]

On 4 July 2009, with the opening of the Neihu segment of Wenhu line, the last of the six core segments was completed. Due to debate on whether to construct a medium-capacity or high-capacity line, construction of the line did not begin until 2002.[citation needed]

Zhonghe–Xinlu line was extended from Guting to Luzhou and Huilong in 2012. The Xinyi section of Tamsui–Xinyi line and Songshan section of Songshan–Xindian line were opened on 24 November 2013 and 15 November 2014 respectively.

Prior to 2014, only physical lines had official names; services did not. In 2008, the Tamsui–Xindian–Nanshijiao and Xiaonanmen services were referred to by termini[19][20] while Bannan and Wenhu services were referred to by the physical lines on which they operated.[21][22]

Following the completion of the core sections of the system in 2014, the naming scheme for services was set and 'lines' started to referred to services. Between 2014 and 2016, lines were given alternative number names based on the order of the dates the lines first opened. Brown, Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines were named lines 1 to 5 respectively. The planned Circular, Wanda–Shulin and Minsheng–Xizhi lines were to be lines 6 to 8 respectively. In 2016, the number names were replaced by colour names. Today, on-board announcements in Chinese use full official names, whereas in English, colour names are used instead.

Circular line[edit]

On 31 January 2020, the Circular line opened.[23] Stage I construction consists of 14 stations running from New Taipei Industrial Park on Taoyuan Airport MRT to Dapinglin on Songshan–Xindian line and is about 15.4 km (9.6 mi) long.[1] Electromechanical equipment for the line is supplied by Hitachi Rail STS, including driverless technology and CBTC Radio signalling.[24] In February 2020, free rides were offered to passengers in order to raise awareness and test the route's popularity.[25][26]

On 5 May 2023, the Circular line has been transferred from the Taipei Metro to the New Taipei Metro.[27]

In June 2023, due to an increasing number of South Korean tourists, the metro announced the addition of Korean announcements at stations where there are high amounts of tourists.[28]

On 3 April 2024, following a magnitude 7 earthquake hitting the island, all active MRT trains were suspended for safety checks to be conducted.[29] All Taipei Metro routes have resumed operations on the same day.[30]

Timeline of services[edit]

Date started Date amended Terminus Route Terminus
1996-03 2009-07 Taipei Zoo Zhongshan Junior High School
1997-03 1997-12 Tamsui Zhongshan
1997-03 Current Beitou Xinbeitou
1997-12 1998-12 Tamsui Taipei Main Station
1998-12 1999-11 Tamsui Nanshijiao
1999-11 2014-11 Tamsui Xindian
1999-11 2012-09 Beitou Nanshijiao
1999-12 2000–08 Taipei City Hall Longshan Temple
2000–08 2000–12 Taipei City Hall Xinpu
2000–08 2013-11 Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Ximen
2000–12 2006-05 Kunyang Xinpu
2004–09 Current Qizhang Xiaobitan
2006-05 2008–12 Kunyang Yongning
Far Eastern Hospital
2008–12 2011-02 Nangang Yongning
Far Eastern Hospital
2009-07 Current Taipei Zoo Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center
2010–11 2012-01 Zhongxiao Xinsheng Luzhou
2011-02 2015-07 Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Yongning
Far Eastern Hospital
2012-01 2012-09 Zhongxiao Xinsheng Luzhou
Fu Jen University
2012-09 2013-06 Nanshijiao Luzhou
Fu Jen University
2012-09 2013-11 Beitou Taipower Building
2013-06 Current Nanshijiao Luzhou
2013-11 2014-11 Beitou Xiangshan
2013-11 2014-11 Taipower Building Ximen
2014-11 Current Tamsui Xiangshan
Beitou Daan
2014-11 Current Songshan Xindian
Taipower Building
2015-07 Current Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Dingpu
Far Eastern Hospital
2020-01 Current New Taipei Industrial Park Dapinglin


Number of lines: 5 (including Wenhu Line, Tamsui-Xinyi Line, Songshan-Xindian Line, Zhonghe-Xinlu Line, and Bannan Line)
Number of stations: 117. Transfer stations (Ximen, CKS Memorial Hall, Guting, and Dongmen Stations) that connect two lines yet share only one physical station, are calculated as one station each. Other stations connecting two lines are calculated as two stations.
Network length: 131.1 km (operating), 136.9 km (constructed)



Geographical map
Track diagram of Taipei Metro

The system is designed based on the spoke-hub distribution paradigm, with most rail lines running radially outward from central Taipei. The MRT system operates daily from 06:00 to 00:00 the following day[32] (the last trains finish their runs by 01:00), with extended services during special events (such as New Year festivities).[33] Trains operate at intervals of 1:30 to 15 minutes depending on the line and time of day.[32][34] Smoking is forbidden in the entire metro system, while eating, drinking, and chewing gum and betel nuts are forbidden within the paid area.[35]

Stations become extremely crowded during rush hours, especially at transfer stations such as Taipei Main Station, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Minquan West Road. Automated station announcements are recorded in Mandarin, English, Taiwanese, and Hakka, with Japanese at busy stations.[36] Japanese coverage across the network was expanded on the 24th of August, 2023. Select stations also received Korean announcements to accommodate for the high influx of South Korean tourists to the capital.[37] Subsequently, announcement order was changed to Mandarin, English, Japanese, Korean, then Taiwanese and Hakka.[38]

Icon Full name Services Peak headway (mins) Off-peak headway, typical Length


Wenhu line Nangang Exhib CenterTaipei Zoo 2–4 4–10 25.1 24
Tamsui–Xinyi line TamsuiXiangshan (full service) 6 8–10 29.3 28
BeitouDaan (short turn service) 3[j] 4–5[j]
BeitouXinbeitou (Xinbeitou branch) 7–8 10
Songshan–Xindian line SongshanXindian (full service) 4–6 6–8 21.5 19
SongshanTaipower Building (short turn service) 3[j] 4–6[j]
QizhangXiaobitan (Xiaobitan branch) 12–20 12–20
Zhonghe–Xinlu line LuzhouNanshijiao (Luzhou branch) 6[k] 8–10[l] 29.3 26
HuilongNanshijiao (Xinzhuang branch) 6[k] 8–10[l]
Bannan line DingpuNangang Exhib Center (full service) 6 8–10 26.6 23
Far Eastern HospitalNangang Exhib Center (short turn service) 3 4–5
Far Eastern HospitalKunyang (short turn, night service) 3 4–5
Total 152.9[3] 134

Fares and tickets[edit]

Single-journey RFID IC Token

Fares range between NT$20–65 per trip as of 2018. RFID single journey tokens and rechargeable IC cards (such as the EasyCard and the iPASS) are used to collect fares for day-to-day use.[39][40] A 20% off discount was given to all IC card users, but it was canceled at the start of February 2020.[41] The discount program was instead switched to an intensity-based scheme. The more times passengers take the MRT, the higher the level of discount they could receive. For example, 10% discount is given for 11–20 rides; 20% discount is provided for 31–40 rides; the highest discount is 30% off for more than 50 rides.[42] The discount is considered a rebate and is deposited to the user's card on the first of each month from the previous month.[43] Those with welfare cards issued by local governments could receive 60% off per ride.[44] Children aged 6 or over pay adult fares. Other ticket types include passes, joint tickets with other services and tickets for groups and discounts for YouBike rentals at the Taipei Main Station.[45]


Platform of Taipei Main Station

The Taipei Metro provides an obstacle-free environment within the entire system; all stations and trains are handicap accessible. Features include:[46][47][48] handicap-capable restrooms, ramps and elevators for wheelchairs and strollers, tactile guide paths, extra-wide faregates, and trains with a designated wheelchair area.[49]

Beginning in September 2003, the English station names for Taipei Metro stations were converted to use Hanyu pinyin before the end of December, with brackets for Tongyong Pinyin names for signs shown at the station entrances and exits.[50] However, after the conversion, many stations were reported to have multiple conflicting English station names caused by inconsistent conversions, even for stations built after enactment of the new naming policy.[citation needed] The information brochures (臺北市大眾捷運系統捷運站轉乘公車資訊手冊) printed in September 2004 still used Wade–Giles romanizations.[51]

To accommodate increasing passenger numbers, all metro stations have replaced turnstiles with speed gates since 2007, and single-journey magnetic cards have been replaced by RFID tokens.[52] TRTS provides free mobile phone connections in all stations, trains, and tunnels and also provides WiFi WLAN connections at several station hotspots.[53] The world's first WiMAX-service metro trains were introduced on the Wenhu line in 2007, allowing passengers to access the internet and watch live broadcasts.[54] Several stations are also equipped with mobile charging stations.[55]


Nanjing Fuxing metro station
Unique dragon boat architecture of Jiantan on Tamsui–Xinyi line
Faregates at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center

Most underground stations have island platform configurations while a few have side platform configurations. Most elevated and at-grade stations have side platform configurations, while a few have island platform configurations. All high-capacity metro stations have a 150 m (490 ft) long platform to accommodate all six-train cars on a typical metro train (with the exception of Xiaobitan). The width of the platform and concourse depends on the volume of transit; the largest stations include Taipei Main Station, Taipei City Hall, and Ximen. Some other transfer stations, including Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Guting, and Songjiang Nanjing, also have wide platforms.

Several stations have a cross-platform interchange: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Guting, Dongmen and Ximen. Both lines' tracks in one direction use the lower floor, while both lines' tracks in the other direction use the upper floor. Dongmen station is unique in that the directions of travel on each floor are reversed, so that there's a cross-platform interchange when travelling between the city center and the suburbs.

Each station is equipped with LED displays and LCD TVs both in the concourse and on the platforms which display the time of arrival of the next train. At all stations, red lights on or above automatic platform gates at stations flash prior to a train arrival to alert passengers and an arrival melody would play (except on the Wenhu line and certain elevated and at-grade stations).

As of September 2018, all stations have automatic platform gates.[56] Before 2018, all the stations on the Wenhu line and most stations on the Zhonghe–Xinlu line, as well as a few stations on other lines, were equipped with platform screen doors.[57][58][59] A Track Intrusion Detection System had also been installed to improve passenger safety at stations without platform doors.[59] The system uses infrared and radio detectors to monitor unusual movement in the track area.[60]


A wayside two-aspect signal and a track point on the Tamsui-Xinyi Line

When the Muzha Line first opened in 1996, the line was initially equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) and automatic train control (ATC), which in turn comprised automatic train protection (ATP) and automatic train supervision (ATS); in particular the ATP relied on transmission coils and wayside control units whereas the ATO relied on dwell operation control units. The transmission coils are controlled by the Control Centre to ensure safety of the line and were positioned on the guideway. Among such coils included the PD loop, safety frequency loop, stopping program loop, vehicle station link and station vehicle link; these loops were cross-arranged to produce electromagnetic induction with the interval between two cross points being 0.3 seconds to both monitor the train and control its speed.[61] However this fixed-block ATC system used on the Muzha Line was plagued with problems in its early years of operation and was replaced with the new moving-block Cityflo 650 CBTC that was supplied by Bombardier Transportation of Canada for the Neihu Line.[62]

On the other hand, the heavy-capacity lines use the traditional fixed block system design, which were initially supplied by General Railway Signal of Rochester, New York, for the Tamsui, Xindian, Zhonghe, and Bannan lines; and later by Alstom for the Tucheng, Xinzhuang, Luzhou, Xinyi and Songshan lines. Key components of the system include impedance bond, 4-foot loops, marker coils, alignment antennae and two-aspect light signals for the wayside as well as automatic train supervision which utilises centralized traffic control.[63]

The Circular Line uses CBTC Radio signalling from Ansaldo STS.[64]

Public art[edit]

In the initial network, important stations such as transfer stations, terminal stations, and stations with heavy passenger flow were chosen for the installation of public art. The principles behind the locations of public art were visual focus and non-interference with passenger circulation and construction schedules. The artworks included murals, children's mosaic collages, sculptures, hung forms, spatial art, interactive art, and window displays. The selection methods included open competitions, invitational competitions, direct assignments, and cooperation with children.

Stations with public art displays include: Shuanglian, NTU Hospital, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Guting, Gongguan, Xindian, Xiaobitan, Dingxi, Nanshijiao, Taipei City Hall, Kunyang, Songshan Airport, Nangang, Haishan, and Tucheng. Stations with art galleries include Zhongshan, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Zhongxiao Fuxing, and Taipei Main Station. Beimen station contains a small archeological museum.

The promotion for artwork continues today – the Department of Rapid Transit held a bid on providing public large scale artwork for the interiors of Sanchong. The bid is placed at over NT$9 million.[65]

Other facilities[edit]

In addition to the rapid transit system itself, Taipei Metro operates several public facilities such as underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares in and around stations,[66] including:

As of 2022 there are 229 shops within the stations themselves.[68]


Sanchong is a transfer station between the Taipei Metro and the Taoyuan Airport MRT.

Transfers to city bus stations are available at all metro stations. In 2009, transfer volume between the metro and bus systems reached 444,100 transfers per day (counting only EasyCard users).[69] Connections to Taiwan Railway Administration and Taiwan High Speed Rail trains are available at Taipei Main Station, Banqiao and Nangang. Connections to Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station are available at Taipei Main Station and Taipei City Hall stations, respectively. The Maokong Gondola is accessible from Taipei Zoo.

Taipei Songshan Airport is served by the Songshan Airport station.[70] A metro system to connect Taipei to Taoyuan International Airport has also been available since March 2017.

Rolling stock[edit]

All rolling stocks on the Taipei Metro are electric multiple units, powered by a third rail at 750 volts direct current. Each train is equipped with automatic train operation (ATO) for a partial or complete automatic train piloting and driverless functions.

Medium-capacity trains[edit]

The medium-capacity trains of Wenhu line are 1,880 mm (6 ft 2 in) broad gauge rubber-tired trains with no onboard train operators but are operated remotely by the medium-capacity system operation control center. It initially used a fixed-block automatic train control (ATC) system. Each train consists of two 2-car electric multiple unit (EMU) sets, with a total of 4 cars.[1] The Wenhu line is the only line on the system to have no open-gangway carriages, meaning that passengers cannot move between carriages when the train is moving.

The Wenhu line was initially operated with VAL 256 trains cars, where two VAL 256 cars in the same set would share the same road number. As a result of this numbering scheme, the 102 cars of the VAL fleet have car numbers from 1 to 51. In June 2003, Bombardier was awarded a contract to supply the Wenhu line with 202 INNOVIA APM 256 train cars,[71] to install the CITYFLO 650 moving-block communications-based train control (CBTC) system to replace the fixed-block ATC system and also to retrofit the existing 102 VAL 256 cars with the CITYFLO 650 CBTC system. Integration of Bombardier's trains with the existing Wenhu line proved to be difficult in the beginning, with multiple system malfunctions and failures during the first three months of operation.[72] Retrofitting older trains also took longer than expected, as the older trains must undergo several hours of reliability tests during non-service hours. The VAL 256 trains resumed operations in December 2010.

The Hitachi Rail Italy Driverless Metro is used on the Circular line, which entered service in January 2020 with the opening of the first section. Each train consists of a 4-car EMU set and with open-gangway connection between cars. The train runs on 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge without onboard operators.[24]

Heavy-capacity trains[edit]

The heavy-capacity trains have steel wheels and are operated by an on-board train operator. The trains are computer-controlled. The operator, who is both driver and conductor, is responsible for opening and closing the doors and making (not all) announcements. Most announcements are pre-recorded in Mandarin, English, Hokkien and Hakka, with Japanese and Korean at busy stations. The ATC provides the functions of ATP, ATO and ATS[73] and controls all train movements, including braking, acceleration and speed control, but can be manually overridden by the operator in case of an emergency. Newer trains also use a Train Supervision Information System (TSIS) supplied by Mitsubishi Electric that allows the operator to monitor the conditions of the train and identify any faults.[74]

Each train consists of two 3-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) sets, with a total of 6 cars.[1] Each 3-car EMU set is permanently coupled as DM–T–M, where DM is the motor car with full-width cab, T is a trailer car and M is the motor car without cab. Each motor car has four 3-phase AC traction motors. The configuration of a 6-car train is DM–T–M+M–T–DM, not interchanged with other car types. Like many contemporary metro rolling stock designs such as the MOVIA by Bombardier, each train features open gangways, allowing passengers to move freely between cars.[citation needed]

All carriages of the heavy-capacity trains are 3.2 metres (10 ft 6 in) wide by 3.6 metres (11 ft 9+34 in) high, and have a total capacity of 368 passengers, 60 of which seated. Their design maximum speed is 90 km/h (56 mph), which is limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) in service.[citation needed]

The first digit of a DM car is 1, while that of a T car is 2 and that of an M car is 3. This digit then follows the three digits of the set number. For example, C301 set 001/002 consists of carriages 1001-2001-3001+3002-2002-1002.[citation needed]

A single set cannot be in revenue service except C371 single sets 397–399, where their M car is exactly a DM car despite its first digit being 3. These single sets run exclusively on the Xinbeitou and Xiaobitan branch lines.[75] Before the C371 single sets were in revenue service on 22 July 2006, the M cars of C301 sets 013/014 were converted to temporary cab cars to run the Xinbeitou branch.

In 2010, the new C381 was built for Taipei Metro to cope with increasing passenger ridership and the expansion of its network route. Upon entering service on 7 October 2012, three C381 trainsets are servicing the Beitou – Taipower Building segment of the Tamsui and Xindian Lines, with the remaining fleet being put into service on 20 October 2012. These trains provided much-needed capacity increase when the Xinyi and Songshan extensions opened in late 2013. After November 2014, the C381 trains are serving both Tamsui–Xinyi line and Songshan–Xindian line[needs update]. Whereas the earlier heavy capacity train types have largely retained the same design, the C381 sets are more distinctive with double blue stripes and the re-positioning of the logo from the driver's door to well below the passenger's windows, right on the stripe. Also placed were the more "sleeker" cab and the new advertising screens (as seen in newer Japanese commuter trains such as the E233 series) to improve energy efficiency, although it retains the same propulsion as the C371s.[citation needed]

Fleet roster[edit]

Medium-capacity fleet[edit]

Car type Photo Year built Builder(s) Train length (m) Capacity (seated/standing) Max. speed[m] (km/h) Fleet total Car set numbers Line(s) Depot(s) Notes
VAL256 1989–1993 Matra, GEC Alsthom 55.12 24/114 80/70 102 01–51 Muzha, Neihu Formed of two married pairs; closed end cars
Innovia APM 256 2006–2007 Bombardier 20/142 90/70 202 101–201
EMU101 (Driverless Metro) 2016 Hitachi Rail Italy, TRSC 68.43 24/650 90/80 68 101–117 North, South Open gangway connection

Heavy-capacity fleet[edit]

Car type Photo Year built Builder(s) Train length (m) Fleet total Car set numbers Line(s) Depot(s) Notes
C301 1992–1994 Kawasaki, URC 141 132 001–044 Beitou 6-car train in DM–T–M+M–T–DM configuration as two 3-car sets
C321 (Modular Metro) 1998–1999 Siemens 216 101–116
Nangang, Tucheng
C341 (Modular Metro) 2003 36 201–212
2005–2009 Kawasaki, TRSC[o] 321 301–338 (1st batch)
401–466 (2nd batch)
397–399 (for branch lines only)

  • Xindian[p]
  • Zhonghe, Luzhou, Xinzhuang[q]
  • Beitou[r]
  • Sets 301–338, 401–466: 6-car train in DM–T–M+M–T–DM configuration as two 3-car sets
  • Sets 397–399: 3-car train in DM–T–DM configuration as one 3-car set
C381 2010–2013 Kawasaki, TRSC 141.42 144 501–548 Beitou,[s] Xindian[t] 6-car train in DM–T–M+M–T–DM configuration as two 3-car sets

Engineering trains[edit]

Taipei Metro also uses a fleet of specialised trains for maintenance of way purposes:[76]

Car Type Purpose Builder Max. speed (km/h) Length (m) Lines used on
Barclay locomotive Traction for maintenance rolling stock Hunslet-Barclay 35 13.5

Tamping machine Track ballast tamping Plasser & Theurer 0.25 29.2
Railgrinder Restore the profile and remove irregularities from worn tracks Speno, Harsco[77] 2–7 33
Rail inspection vehicle Measure and record rail track-related data Plasser & Theurer 30 12.5
Ultrasonic rail testing vehicle Detects internal cracks within rail tracks using ultrasound Speno 25 8.4
High pressure cleaning car Cleaning of rail tracks and third rail China Steel Corporation 2–7 26
Water storage and power car Provides water source and propulsion for high pressure cleaning car 26
Vacuum cleaning vehicle Remove tunnel sludge 19
Flash welding vehicle Rail welding Plasser & Theurer 16.24
Rail crane wagon Lifting heavy spare parts China Steel Corporation 45 11.2/11.4/16.4/18.7
Flat wagon Carry spare parts 18.7
Open wagon Carry ballast China Steel Corporation 19.8
Water tanker Store water used for cleaning purposes 2–7
Maintenance locomotive Maintenance of way Nicolas
Rescue locomotive Rescue of passenger EMU or engineering trains Bemo Rail 50 9.45
Track maintenance vehicle Track maintenance 25 5.86
Road–rail vehicle Mercedes-Benz 50 (rail), 80 (road) 5.2
Flatcar Carrying maintenance equipment Bemo Rail 18


The system currently has 10 depots, with more under construction.[78][79]

Depot Name Year Opened Location Rolling Stock Housed Line(s) Served
Muzha [zh] 1996 Wenshan, northeast of Taipei Zoo VAL256, BT370
Beitou [zh] 1997 Beitou, southwest of Fuxinggang C301, C371 (single), C381
Zhonghe [zh] 1998 Zhonghe, east of Nanshijiao C371
Xindian [zh] 1999 Xindian, northwest of Xiaobitan C371, C381
Nangang [zh] 2000 Nangang, southeast of Kunyang C321, C341
Tucheng [zh] 2006 Tucheng, southwest of Far Eastern Hospital
Neihu [zh] 2009 Nangang, northeast of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center VAL256, BT370
Luzhou [zh] 2010 Luzhou, northwest of Luzhou C371
South [zh] 2020 Xindian, north of Shisizhang EMU101
Xinzhuang [zh] 2021[80] Xinzhuang, north of Huilong C371


Rapid Transit Ridership
YearMillions of Journeys±% p.a.
Source: [81]
Inside a Taipei Metro train during rush hour

Taipei Metro is one of the most expensive rapid transit systems ever constructed,[82] with phase one of the system costing US$18 billion[15] and phase two estimated to have cost US$13.8 billion.

Despite earlier controversy, by the time the first phase of construction was completed in 2000, it was generally agreed that the metro project was a success, and it has since become an essential part of life in Taipei. The system has been effective in reducing traffic congestion in the city and has spurred the revival of satellite towns (like Tamsui) and development of new areas (like Nangang).[8][83] The system has also helped to increase average vehicle speed for routes running from New Taipei into Taipei.[84] Property prices along metro routes (both new and existing) tend to increase with the opening of more lines.[85][86]

Since the Taipei Metro joined the Nova International Railway Benchmarking Group and the Community of Metros (Nova/CoMET) in 2002, it has started collecting and analysing data of the 33 Key Performance Indicators set by Nova/CoMET in order to compare them with those of other metro systems around the world, as a reference to improve its operation. Taipei Metro also has gained keys to success from case studies on different subjects such as safety, reliability, and incidents, and from the operational experiences of other metro systems.[87]

According to a study conducted by the Railway Technology Strategy Center at Imperial College London,[88] and data gathered by Nova/CoMET, the Taipei Metro has ranked number 1 in the world for four consecutive years in terms of reliability, safety, and quality standards (2004–2007).[59] The most congested route sections handle over 38,000 commuters per hour during peak times.[89]

On New Year's Eve 2009 and New Year's Day 2010, the Metro system transported 2.17 million passengers in 42 consecutive hours. On 22 April 2010 after 14 years of service, the system achieved the milestone of 4 billion cumulative riders.[90] On 29 December 2010, the system passed the benchmark of 500 million annual passengers for the first time.[91] The record for single day ridership hit 2.5 million passengers during the New Year's Eve celebrations on 31 December 2010.[92][93] Following opening of the Xinyi section of Tamsui–Xinyi line, the system reached another record of 2.75 million passengers on 31 December 2013.[94]

In May 2016, the Singapore Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said that his country's rail operators, SBS Transit and SMRT, should emulate the example of Taipei Metro. Speaking at a rail engineering forum, he cited the Taipei Metro's timely maintenance and replacement of assets, as well as its fast response to rail network problems. Khaw said the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with the TRTC to attach staff from SBS and SMRT to its metro workshops, so they can learn from its asset maintenance practices and engineering improvements.[95][96][97]

Future expansions[edit]

Taipei Rail Map showing current lines, lines under construction, and planned lines. Other rail systems are also shown.

Several lines are planned to be added to the network.[98][99][100][101]

Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin line (Light Green line)[edit]

Wanda–Zhonghe–Shulin is a metro line under construction. Phase 1 will run from CKS Memorial Hall to Juguang, Zhonghe, New Taipei. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 2025.

Phase 2 will connect Zhonghe Senior High School, the previous station of Juguang, to Huilong, making the part between Zhonghe Senior High School and Juguang a branch line. The entire line is expected to be fully completed around late 2028.[102]

Phase 2 and 3 of Circular line (Yellow line)[edit]

Phase 2 of Circular line is under construction and planned completion for 2029.[103] Phase 2 consists of Northern Section and Southern Section. Northern Section will continue from New Taipei Industrial Park to Jiannan Road. This section will service Wugu, Luzhou, Shilin and Neihu. The Southern Section will continue from Dapinglin to Taipei Zoo and will mainly service Wenshan.

Phase 3 is planned to start construction in 2025 and finish construction in 2033. [104] Phase 3 consists of the Eastern Section, is planned to connect Jiannan Road and Taipei Zoo in Phase 2 making the line an actual loop.

Minsheng–Xizhi line (Sky Blue line)[edit]

Minsheng–Xizhi is a planned metro line. As of February 2011, New Taipei has been pursuing the construction of the 17.52-km Minsheng–Xizhi line, though the most recent plan was rejected by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, citing the need for further evidence for the line's viability.[105] The city plans to re-submit the proposal, and the project is estimated to cost NT$42.2 billion (US$1.44 billion).[105] A possible 4.25-km extension of the line to connect with the planned Keelung light rail is also being considered.[106] The line is planned to be built partially underground and partially elevated. It will begin from Dadaocheng Harbour beneath Minsheng West Road in Taipei, run along Minsheng East and West Roads, pass through Minsheng Community and journey under the Keelung River towards the Neihu District. The line will then change to an elevated mode and reach its termini at Xintai 5th Road in Xizhi District, New Taipei City. As of May 2018, the proposal for this line has been submitted to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, but has yet to be approved.[107]

Network Map[edit]


Safety and security[edit]

2001 typhoon flooding[edit]

On 17 September 2001, Typhoon Nari flooded all underground tracks as well as 16 stations, the heavy-capacity system operation control center, the administration building, and the Nangang Depot.[108] The elevated Wenhu line was not seriously affected and resumed operations the next day. However, the heavy-capacity lines were not restored to full operational status until three months later.[8]

2014 stabbing attack[edit]

On 21 May 2014, 28 people were stabbed in a mass stabbing by a knife-wielding college student on the Bannan line.[109] The attack occurred on a train near Jiangzicui, resulting in 4 deaths and 24 injured.[110] It was the first fatal attack on the metro system since it began operations in 1996. The suspect was 21-year-old Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), a university student at Tunghai University, who was arrested at Jiangzicui immediately after the incident.[111] On 6 March 2015, Cheng Chieh was found guilty on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, and was sentenced to death. He was subsequently executed on 10 May 2016.[112]


In early 2021, it was discovered that a pornographic film production company had created a series of sets which copied the design of MRT trains and stations. This caused a brief stir when it was first released as many were concerned that the films had been shot on actual MRT trains and stations. Nevertheless, it was still condemned by Taipei MRT for imitating its train carriages.[113]

On 30 December 2021, Taipei MRT rejected an Amnesty International advertisement which featured detained human rights activist Lee Ming-che.[114]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Not including the Circular line, operated by New Taipei Metro, nor branch lines.
  2. ^ [1] The number of stations is 131 if the 12 interchange stations (i.e. different sets of platforms) are counted multiple times, once for each line, while it is 119 if they are combined. Out-of-station transfers at Banqiao and XinpuXinpu Minsheng, which require leaving paid area, are counted as 2 stations each; transfer stations that provide cross-platform interchange are anyway counted as a single stations.
  3. ^ Medium-capacity trains consist of 4 carriages, while heavy-capacity trains consist of 3 or 6.
  4. ^ Circular and Wenhu lines: 4; Xiaobitan and Xinbeitou branches: 3
  5. ^
    • Wenhu line
      • Minimum 1:20
      • Peak average 2:09
      • Off-peak average 4:10
    • Other lines
      • Minimum 2:00
      • Peak average 4:01
      • Off-peak average 5:28
  6. ^ Wenhu line: 1,880 mm (6 ft 2 in) broad gauge
  7. ^ Wenhu line: 33 metres (108 ft)
  8. ^ Wenhu line: 32.84 kilometres per hour (20 mph)
  9. ^ Wenhu line: 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph)
  10. ^ a b c d Combined frequency
  11. ^ a b Combined: 3 mins
  12. ^ a b Combined: 4–5 mins
  13. ^ Design/Service
  14. ^ Originally 117/118, number change due to 2014 Taipei Metro attack
  15. ^ Second batch only
  16. ^ 301–338, 397, 398
  17. ^ 401–466
  18. ^ 399
  19. ^ 501–530
  20. ^ 531–548

Words in native languages[edit]

  1. ^ a b


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External links[edit]

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