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Smart bus stop launched in northern Taiwan

Taoyuan City Government launches smart bus stop that can hail buses, add value to EasyCard

Smart bus stops deployed in Taoyuan. (CNA photo)

Smart bus stops deployed in Taoyuan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taoyuan City Government introduced a bus stop with an EasyCard reader that can quickly top up or add money to stored value cards.

In the first wave of deployment, 113 bus stops will now be equipped with these smart functions, with another 100 expected to be deployed next year. The smart card readers can be used for both EasyCard and iPass, per CTS.

Taoyuan City Government’s Transportation Bureau said when an EasyCard with an available balance of less than NT$100 (US$3) is placed over a sensing area, an automatic recharge function will transfer NT$500 from a bank account linked to the EasyCard.

No handling fees will be assessed by participating banks. However, the public should be reminded that after initiating such a top-up function, it cannot be canceled.

Smart bus stop launched in northern Taiwan
Hailing a bus has become even easier in Taoyuan. (CNA photo)

Taoyuan City’s Transportation Bureau said the rollout of smart bus stops will for the moment be focused mainly on older bus stops, which require upgrades. Furthermore, priority will be given to remote areas where there are few convenient stores that can provide card recharging services.

The new bus stops also come equipped with a button that can be pressed to hail a passing bus. The button is connected to a light on the top of the bus station, which signifies passengers are waiting to be picked up. Additionally, QR codes at the bus stop can be scanned, revealing a map of popular attractions in the area.

Taoyuan City Department of Transportation director-general Chang Hsin-fu (張新福) said that in addition to the upgrade of equipment at bus stops, regular inspections and audits of bus punctuality are taking place. Chang believes these concerted efforts will dramatically improve public transportation in Taoyuan.