Death On Two Wheels

How feasible is it to not have a scooter in Taiwan and still get around? After all I’ve heard, I’ve decided that the use of my two legs for the rest of my life somehow seems better than looking like a gorilla on a little bike. Does the MRT reach most destinations worth going to?
Man, I wish I had more balls. X-TREME sports, fractured wrists, inability to think clearly…I’ve missed the good life all right…

thereis absolutely no way the MRT reaches all the spots worth going to unless one is completely ensconced and content staying in taipei.

physical exercise and a change of scenery every now and then are wonderful tonics and stimulate mental functions.

I’ve been here almost eight years – most of that time without a scooter. Although now I have one that someone gave me, I ride it less than half a dozen times per year, usually to the market. Foot, buses, the MRT, trains, and taxis do just fine for me.

Scooters are overrated and not absolutely necessary for most people, despite how much some people come to be addicted to them.

Taiwan already has too many scooters belching out too much pollution and covering too many sidewalks.

Resist the urge.

agree with Cranky. I see more of Taiwan’s hills than anyone else I know and in 6 years have never had a scooter. Hire a scooter road trips. Otherwise between bus, train, MRT, bike, and walking you’ll never be short of places to go.

skeptic, I like cities and have a great fear of snakes, so I don’t plan on leaving Taipei all that often. My concern is that I don’t want to rely on taxis as I hear they’re expensive, so I was just wondering if the MRT covers all the ‘hot spots’.
salmon, I’ll be sure to hire a scooter if the need arises. About how much does it cost to hire a scooter for a day?

Are you mad? Hire scooters for a day?
Do people do that here?
I think some people hire scooters long term, but not by the day.
This is Taipei, it’s not bloody Corsica!
Wht’s the point?
Taxis aren’t expensive. I just took two.

I meant if I were to hire one outside the city, not in Taipei. I thought that my previous posts implied that I would be using the MRT while in Taipei.

You should use your feet while in Taipei, or a bicycle. It’s much better. I loved riding my bike on the fresh new sidewalk/pavement thingies when I lived downtown. Don’t ride on the roads. Too dangerous and the exhaust fumes, damn!

Why are you thinking about when you won’t be in Taipei before you even get here?

I’m trying to prepare myself. Thanks for the advice.

Many foreigners who don’t ride motorcycles feel that way. I say if you have owned a motorcycle back in the old country, you’re probably the kind of person who can adapt easily. Most of the people who dare not drive are the ones who are not really comfortable on a motorcycle or with unfamiliar traffic conditions. I’ve been driving scooters, motorcycles and cars since the late 80’s without any real problems.

[quote=“Maoman”]I’ve been driving scooters, motorcycles and cars … without any real problems.[/quote]Me too. Just don’t pick up the bad driving habits here. I do recommend getting a scooter. It really cuts your commute times down. When the MRT is finally finished (all lines) it will be convenient. Now it hits many, but certainly not all ‘hot spots’.

[quote=“Alien”]Taxis aren’t expensive. I just took two.[/quote]That IS extravagant. I only take one if I need to go somewhere.

I opted for a scooter also when faced with an hour’s journey by buses over a 20 minute scooter ride to my new job.

The roads ARE dangerous here, but if you already have motorcycle experience, and if you ride confidently and alertly, you will be fine.

This is a bad place to begin riding bikes.

However, with a bit of self-restraint and common sense it can be reasonably trouble free.

Get a bike with decent tyres and brakes.

Learn to read the road surface and assume every other driver is out to get you. That’s the best you can do.

Remember red lights mean nothing here, and headlamps brake lights etc are optional. Also be aware that on the rear of some cars, brake lights, driving lights, and indicators are all the same colour (red), and are therefore not a reliable indication of anything in particular.

Also, be aware that when approaching at speed a light changing from amber to red that you may stop well enough, but the car behind you won’t.

Confuse other riders when stopped at the lights by adjusting the shiny glass things sticking up from the handlebars. Look in each one from time to time, and then over your shoulder for maximum effect.

Occaisionally notice large (normal-sized) motorbikes with yellow plates. Reflect upon their enormous cost in Taiwan, and then check out the rider’s gear. Flip flops, a two-bit helmet, no leathers. (Extra kudos if you spot one in a singlet.) Wonder are you mad for spending a month’s salary on boots, gloves, a hundredweight of Armco and an Arai race helmet to ride a 150.

(If in any doubt about the last point I have an old Arai helmet and a pair of gloves you can check out…! :wink:)

It’s not really the fear of having my head crushed by a taxi, but rather the fear of looking ridiculous. When I see people on scooters near my house, plodding along, I have this urge to suddenly swerve my car and knock them off. I don’t do it because I did it (as a joke) once to a dog and ended up pounding the thing. I felt guilty for days, expecting swift retribution from the god of canines, Likta.

I thought they were for examining my coiffure, or for ladies to apply cosmetics. Do you mean they can be used as a kind of safety device as well?

use 'em to deflect potentially distracting sunlight into someone else’s eyes instead of your own.

Taxis aren’t that expensive, yet compared to buses and the MRT they actually are.
The MRT reaches most hot-spots and you can jump on a bus for free for one zone after that using the EasyCard (reloadable).
Furthermore the MRT is expanding though it will take another 5-6 years before the new routes will be in service.
I don’t use a scooter and manage to get around quite easily, mostly by bus and MRT or on foot, use a taxi only in the morning or when public transport has been suspended (after midnight).
So if you confine yourself to Taipei city you should be fine though I do see the appeal of a scooter once in a while. :wink:

[quote=“Rascal”]The MRT reaches most hot-spots and you can jump on a bus for free for one zone after that using the EasyCard (reloadable).

There is no free bus ride anymore. Using the EasyCard to take MRT, you pay half the bus fare both before and after the MRT ride. So if you only take a one-way bus after the MRT ride, now you pay more than you did before the new policy, which took effect since July, I think.

If you have not yet arrived in Taiwan


You have decided to ride a scooter in Taipei


I strongly suggest you buy a good helmet before you get here. The cheap helmets here are totally useless at protecting your face and head, while the good ones are quite expensive.