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Minsheng-Xizhi Line Set into Action Based on A Consensus of Two Cities -- Approval of the Entire Line on One Occasion and Phased Construction

In regards to reports on the issue that New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu hopes that a phased approach to construction will be adopted for the Minsheng-Xizhi line, Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) stated that for works related to the Minsheng-Xizhi line Taipei City DORTS and New Taipei City DORTS maintain close mutual cooperation all the time. On May 23, 2014, deputy mayors of the two cities presided over a research committee, and on March 22, 2016, the two cities acted in mutual cooperation at a conference as a communication platform for reaching a consensus to approve an impetus to a phased approach to the construction of the entire line on one occasion.

Taipei City DORTS has completed comprehensive planning reports for the Minsheng-Xizhi line in accordance with the mutual consensus reached by the two cities. The reports were submitted to the central government on August 28, 2015 and April 25, 2016, and reviewed and annotated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on October 16, 2015 and June 13, 2016. The Taipei city government was requested to complete the review procedures for the urban rezoning and the environmental impact assessment of the Taipei City’s Minsheng West and East Road sections and the Donghu Branch line in accordance with “Directions for Application and Review of Plans for Mass Rapid Transit Systems Construction Projects & Development of Adjacent Land”. After that, the revised comprehensive planning report will be submitted for central approval.

DORTS stated that the environmental impact assessment for the Minsheng-Xizhi Line was approved by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for future reference on January 21, 2010, and this included approval with conditions for the environmental assessment of the Neihu to Xizhi section of the line. The other sections have not yet been reviewed and approved and will therefore require supplementary procedures. The commissioned technical services for the environmental impact assessment of the second phase of the Minsheng-Xizhi line commenced on April 14, 2017, and various environmental data surveys for locations along the line are underway. After an estimated 15 months, the environmental impact assessment report is expected to be submitted to MOTC and then the Executive Yuan, EPA for review.

DORTS emphasized that because the whole Minsheng-Xizhi line must be constructed in its entirety in order for its maximum benefits to be realized, if due to a lack of proper interchange stations and facilities, only the Xizhi to Donghu section is built, it will not have the capacity to solve the transportation problems in Xizhi. The two cities have already coordinated to submit a report for central approval with the goal of “approval of the entire line on one occasion and phased construction.” As a result, after the review procedures for the environmental impact assessment and urban rezoning are completed, efforts will be made to obtain central approval for the entire line, and Taipei City and New Taipei City will collectively direct all-out efforts to this course of action.