TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City will launch its first electric bus service next August, after years of offering generous subsidies which never led to any results, reports said Friday.
Each year the capital budgets NT$30 million (US$1 million) in assistance for bus companies who want to purchase electrically powered buses, but so far, the offer has never been taken up, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported. An electric bus costs about NT$3.5 million (US$117,000), and the maximum subsidy for each bus in NT$1.5 million (US$50,500), but that has never been enough to convince operators to take up the invitation.
However, next August, 12 new electric buses will start running on a route between the Taipei Zoo in the Mucha area and Songshan Rail Station, the Liberty Times reported. At first, there will be a bus once every 20 minutes during peak hours and once every hour off-peak. Depending on its success, times will be adapted, reports said.
Officials emphasized that there were 11 schools, four Mass Rapid Transit stations and the Maokong cable car station on its route, while it would also intersect with several new direct bus routes.
In 2013, Taipei City made a first attempt to introduce electric buses, but as their batteries only lasted for 60 kilometers, the experiment was not deemed successful, the Liberty Times reported.