Near free bus fare plan hits the road in Taiwan’s Taichung

Passengers pay maximum of NT$10 after first 10 km under Taichung's “Double 10” bus fare scheme

(Taichung City Government photo)

(Taichung City Government photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Public buses charging passengers a maximum of NT$10 (about 33 cents) began to hit the road in the western city of Taichung on Lunar New Year's Day, according to a news release published on Taichung Travel Net.

Under the “Double 10” bus fare scheme, touted by Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) as “the most favorable bus fare policy in the country,” passengers pay a maximum of just NT$10 (33 cents) for the distance they ride after the first 10 kilometers (km), which are cost-free.

Lu said that the city bus service, which used to charge passengers a maximum of NT$60, is now charging no more than NT$10 dollars for the service, which is gratis for the initial 10 km, whether taking the bus to Guguan for a hot spring bath, to Xinshe to admire the vast flower fields, or to Wufeng to visit the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden, the release said. She advised domestic and international tourists alike to take advantage of the low-cost bus service to get around the city.

Not only does the fare policy benefit tourists, it also bodes well for Taichung residents who depend on the bus service in everyday life.

One I-Ning High School student said that she used to pay NT$48 for a single bus journey to school from her home in Dajia, which means NT$96 a day to commute between home and school. With the “Double 10” bus fare scheme, however, she now has to spend only NT$20 a day on fares, saving her NT$1,500 a month.

Another Taichung resident, who commutes to work downtown from the western district of Wuqi, said that the new fare policy makes it cheaper to take the bus to work than riding a scooter or any other form of transportation, increasing people’s willingness to commute by bus, the release said.

People are advised to download the Taichung Bus (台中公車) app, visit the real time bus information website, or call 1999 or Transportation Bureau at 04-22291716 to get access to information related to the bus services.

Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden (Wufeng Lin Family photo)