Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Squeezing Yet More Trains onto the Bannan Line

The United Daily recently had an interesting report about how the MRT has saved time during rush hour on the Bannan Line.  Every weekday between 8 and 9 AM the MRT has stationed workers on the Bannan Line platforms at Zhongxiao Xinsheng and Taipei Main whose sole task is closing each train's doors.  This might sound wasteful, but the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. claims it has allowed them to run two more trains during rush hour, permitting 29 trains per hour which can fit 3,000 more people, and reducing headways by fifteen seconds, to 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
Typically, after an MRT train stops, the driver steps out of the cab and only reenters once they see everyone has boarded the train.  According to Tan Gwa Gwang, president of the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp., the TRTC determined that this takes 5 seconds.  To save this time, the TRTC stationed staff near the driver's cab to watch the monitors showing passengers boarding and exiting the train, so the driver doesn't need to leave the cab.  When the warning alarm sounds, they reach into the cab and place their finger on the door closing button.  Once the alarm stops and there are no more passengers entering or exiting the train, they press the button and motion to the driver to leave the station.
Last year the TRTC had already saved 10 seconds per train by adding crowd control staff to Zhongxiao Xinsheng and Taipei Main's platforms.

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