TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Since going on sale in July, more than two million TPASS cards have been sold in northern Taiwan, which has contributed to a 7.3% drop in private vehicle usage among commuters.
According to the Taipei Department of Transportation, 2.08 million passes have been sold, and the number of average daily commuters using public transportation has increased from 340,000 to 460,000 compared to the same period in 2022, a total increase of 21%. While the numbers are encouraging, they have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels of public transportation usage, reported UDN.
Further, the central government’s initial target of reducing private vehicle use in the greater Taipei area by 5% has been exceeded, with the total number of commuters using private vehicles dropping by an estimated 7.3% in the last five months, reported UDN.
The TPASS is a monthly service that allows a commuter to enjoy an unlimited number of rides on public transportation services in the greater Taipei area, as well as Taoyuan and Keelung, for only NT$1,200 each month.
According to Department of Transportation section chief Chu Chen-zuo (朱宸佐), the number of TPASS users is expected to continue to increase over the next year. Since the TPASS has become available, Taipei MRT usage has increased by 18%, while the number of people riding buses has increased by 15%, and YouBike riders have risen by 20%.
Despite the success of the TPASS, traffic jams and delays are still a major concern for the Department of Transportation. The government plans to prepare a subsidy of NT$900 million to improve and promote public transit in 2024, per UDN.