Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More MRT Stations Opened

Apple Daily has good news for Taipei cyclists--12 new MRT stations will allow bicycles on March 1st. The combined ticket price for bicycle and rider has also been lowered to NT$80 per trip regardless of distance. Other rules are much the same. All stations are open on weekends and holidays from 6:00AM to 4:00PM. They close between 4:00PM and 7:00PM for rush hour and then reopen until the end of service that day.

The new stations are mainly on the blue line that runs east to west from Nankang to Tucheng in Taipei County. Access to these stations opens up a number of great riding possibilities in western Taipei County including the Northern Cross Highway, Shihmen Reservoir, and shorter rides in the area surrounding Sanxia.

In the other direction, access to Kunyang station makes a number of day rides that loop from the Muzha area back to Nankang more doable in a morning and greatly reduces the amount of city riding. A bike lane out to Nankang would improves things even more.

On the down side, the Muzha line remains off limits due to the small size of the cars. Taipei Station and Chunghsiao-Fuxing are also not accessible. However, Xiaonanmen near the Botanical Gardens is open.

I'll try to follow up with rides that start from the newly-opened stations, but that will have to wait until next week after I get back from riding from Chiayi to Taitung via the Southern Cross.

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