TAIPEI MAYOR Ma Ying-jeou joined city and metro officials on December 3 to turn the first sod for the 7 km Luchou line. Due for completion by December 2009, the Luchou line will branch off the 19·7 km Hsinchuang line now under construction and run northwest from Taipei Bridge through the suburbs of Sanchung and Luchou, serving five stations. Total cost, including a rolling stock depot, is put at NT$21·2bn. The national government will contribute 80%, with Taipei City and Taipei County funding the remainder. Construction authority DORTS has been allocated NT$3·7bn for the first phase of work.

TRTC expected to resume operations on the final section of the Panchiao - Nankang line on December 15, three months after the central part of the network and the main control centre were flooded by Typhoon Nari on September 16-19.