Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shifting Transfers from Taipei Main to Zhongxiao Xinsheng

A couple interesting tidbits related to the opening of Dongmen Station, slated for this coming Sunday (September 30th):
For those who don't know, one of the most cited benefits of separating the Zhonghe Line from the Danshui Line and merging it with the Xinzhuang Line is that it will relieve crowding in Taipei Main Station by making it possible for people traveling between the Zhonghe Line and eastern Taipei to transfer at Zhongxiao Xinsheng.  According to the Taipei MRT Corporation, currently on the average day 257,000 transfers occur at Taipei Main Station, and 77,000 at Zhongxiao Xinsheng.  With the opening of the Zhonghe-Xinzhuang connection, the number of transfers at Taipei Main will decrease by 53,000 to 204,000, and increase at Zhongxiao Xinsheng to 129,000.  Other media reports have suggested a more modest (and less specific) shift of somewhere between 20 and 30,000 transfers, which seems low to me given that transferring at Zhongxiao Xinsheng will be faster for everyone traveling between eastern Taipei and anywhere south of Guting, on both the Xindian and the Zhonghe Lines.  I do wonder however if the numbers take into account the likely increase in ridership that will result from faster trips and increased frequency on the Zhonghe Line, which should lead to a lot of new MRT passengers transferring at Zhongxiao Xinsheng, not just people who used to transfer at Taipei Main.
Another service change which occurred earlier this month is that the headway between trains on the Bannan Line during peak hours decreased from 2 minutes 15 seconds to 2 minutes 5 seconds.  Not huge, but anything that decreases crowding on that line is a good idea, and frankly overdue.  I wonder if they can up frequency any higher.