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Cabinet approves planning of Taoyuan Metro Brown Line

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Image courtesy of Taoyuan City Department of Rapid Transit Systems

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) The Cabinet on Friday gave the green light for the Taoyuan Metro Brown Line project, which aims to connect northern Taoyuan with the Greater Taipei area, to commence.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) announced that Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) had approved the feasibility study and comprehensive planning report for the project.

The line will connect the Taiwan Railway Co.'s Taoyuan Station with Huilong Station on Taipei's metro network.

Cheng added that the project will also connect to Taipei's Zhonghe-Xinlu Line, as well as two under-construction routes -- Taipei's Wanda-Shulin Line and the Taoyuan Green Line.

When the project was first passed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) in December last year, Taoyuan's Department of Rapid Transit Systems announced that the aim was to complete construction of the line within eight years of Cabinet approval.

On his Facebook, Cheng said he has wanted to see the project green-lit for nine years, from back when he was mayor of Taoyuan.

Cheng added that the project budget was NT$45.65 billion (US$1.44 billion).

Of that total, Cheng said NT$8.12 billion would go to upgrading light rail hardware so it can handle a high volume of passengers, and NT$11.18 billion would be spent constructing the line underground.

The central government will shoulder NT$23.84 billion of the cost, and the other NT$21.81 billion will be paid by local governments.

In related news, the MOTC also approved the extension of New Taipei's Sanying Line on Friday.

The main route of the metro line is currently under construction, and the extension will add three stops to link New Taipei with Taoyuan.

New Taipei's Department of Rapid Transit Systems said the three stops will connect New Taipei's Sanying Line with the Taoyuan Green Line, measuring a distance of four kilometers.

The department's head Lee Cheng-an (李政安) said the project will now be forwarded to the Cabinet for further approval.

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