Taichung to roll out near-free bus fare scheme

'Double 10' bus fare policy means passengers pay maximum of NT$10 after first cost-free 10 km

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(Taichung City Government photo)

(Taichung City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) announced at a city council meeting on Dec. 6 that Taichung will roll out “Taiwan’s most favorable bus fare scheme” next year, according to a news release published on Taichung Travel Net.

She said the “Double 10” bus fare scheme is her most important transport policy for next year, according to the website. Currently, bus fares for distances less than 10 kilometers (km) are free.

This is beneficial for short distance passengers, the mayor said. However, for long-distance commuters and people who live in remote areas, they still have to pay the fare for the distance after 10 km, she added.

The “Double 10” bus fare scheme means passengers will pay a maximum of NT$10 (about 33 cents) for the distance they ride after the cost-free 10 km. The mayor said this is the most favorable bus fare policy in the country and will take effect next year.

Lu said the city appropriated a budget of NT$2.3 billion for this year’s "free within 10 km policy," and next year's “Double 10” policy will be supported by a budget of NT$2.8 billion. With the additional NT$500 million, more people will be willing to take buses, which will not only help financially disadvantaged individuals but also improve air quality, she said.

As for whether the policy only applies to Taichung residents, Lu said currently everyone was included. The aim being to encourage visitors to the city, too.