Life on the MRT


The taxi fares are pretty much about NT$1300 or so from the airport to the center of Taipei, metered. Been that way for a long time. Not extortionate; just standard. They’re not cheating you. Usually from Taipei to the airport it’s cheaper, around 900 or 1000 (negotiated).

I still take the bus; a lot cheaper and it doesn’t take much longer. Guoguang is pretty good; ordinary bus with normal drivers. FreeGo (Flying Dog) is pretty awful, though.


It’s extortionate to me especially when there were few options previously. Yes it’s been like that a long time which means it was even MORE extornionate years ago!


So they have unveiled the new trains for the Circular line and they look really nice. Made in Italy. They arrived in Taiwain late November.

The first train to run on the medium-capacity Taipei Metro Circular Line has arrived for static testing as 73.45 percent of the line’s first-stage construction has been completed, the New Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DRTS) said on Saturday.

The train, made in Italy, arrived at Taipei Harbor in Bali District, New Taipei City on Nov. 24, and has been transported to the line’s Xindian depot for static testing.

The construction of the first stage of the Circular Line is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018.

The first stage consisting of the section from New Taipei Industrial Park (formerly called Wugu Industrial District) to Dapinglin Station on the Taipei Metro’s Green Line is 15.4 km (9.6 mi.) long with 14 stations.

The first stage of the Circular Line, which is totally located in New Taipei City, passes though the densely populated areas of Xindian, Zhonghe, Banqiao and Xinzhuang, and connects with the existing lines of Taipei Metro, Chao said.

There are some nice hoods in the netherlands between Shiuland Bridge and Jingan that now will be connected. Airport line -when it opens- will also be within reach much more easily now.


It’s going to be a great addition…most of the hoods it connects are not particularly nice in my book but still handy to get around…I mean could visit xinzhuang more than once per year then.

North Taiwan is going to have some great public transport options within a couple of years. The DPP need to wake up and invest in the other cities which will fall further behind.

Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan…


In terms of investment, Kaohsiung is keeping up. The problem there is job opportunity (or more precsely lack thereof). But the other places Brian mentioned–Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan–are somewhere in a netherworld between a wasteland and a joke in terms of public transportation investment.

When I ride the bus in Hsinchu, I’ve often thought that its only social purpose is to drum into high school students the notion of never taking this lousy system again as adults. So far it seems to be working.



My only beef with the MRT is the fact I can’t even drink a damn water on it. I get the ‘no food’ rule, and even agree with it to an extent. But water? Come on now… that’s key during those blazing hot Kaohsiung summers.

Aside from that, I think the MRT is awesome. It’s modern, smooth, clean, timely (unlike the buses), usually easy to get a seat outside of rush hour and it doesn’t constantly break down. I come from Boston where we ride the antiquated T, a relic from a century ago that screeches down rickety tracks with all the grace of nails clawing at a chalkboard. The hot mess would break down on a weekly basis and just sit on the tracks for 15 minutes, while the indifferent conductor would hop out to have a cigarette. This was especially frustrating when I was commuting to work in the morning. Asia has left the US in the dust when it comes to modernizing its transportation systems and infrastructure. So no, I can’t really say anything bad about the MRT besides my nitpicks about the over-policing of bringing drinks on board.


Just a friendly reminder to pay attention to your surroundings - this story had a happy ending - only a broken arm, I think - but it could have been much worse:

Taipei, Dec. 15 (CNA) A woman who accidentally fell onto the rails at Kunyang MRT station in Taipei while using her phone on Thursday has been fined NT$1,500 (US$ 47) for obstruction of the train service.

Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) said the woman was walking along the platform, absorbed in her cellphone, when she fell onto the rails.

She was quickly rescued by station staff and suffered no injuries, TRTC said.

However, she has been fined NT$1,500 under the Mass Rapid Transit Act because she was not paying attention to her surroundings and caused a three-minute disruption of the train service when she fell, TRTC said.


Hmmm, something similar happened at Jing Mei MRT last week.

The girl was rescued by a guy who jumped onto the tracks to push her up. The volunteers didn’t have the strength to pull her up.

The video shows the guy doesn’t even think twice and jumps down, pushes her up, pulls himself up to the platform and walks away like it was all in a day’s work.


Actually you’re entitled to drink water. On a 45 minute ride you can claim medical grounds for drinking water. I doubt anyone would give you shit. I frequently sneak a sip if I’m coming off a long hike.


Eh, some Taiwanese subway hack shouted at me for drinking some on the platform the other day (not even on the train). And my Chinese isn’t good enough to explain away some fake medical malady.


Technically, you’re pass the yellow “no drinking/eating” line…so.

If it was me, I would use the foreigner card. It normally works.


Passengers renting a CityBike within half an hour of exiting the KMRT will not pay rental fees for the first hour, the city said, adding that they will be charged NT$10 for using the service for another half hour, after which the regular fee of NT$20 per half hour would apply.

Fees for the CityBike system will be adjusted next year to make the first 30 minutes free and charge NT$5 for the second 30 minutes, the bureau said.




As year end events increase in number and crowds pile up, things like this are bound to happen:

Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) Three women were injured at Banqiao train station in New Taipei late Saturday when an idle escalator crowded with people suddenly started moving, causing people on the way down to trip and slam into people in front of them.

The injured included a 63-year-old Taiwanese and a 27-year-old Vietnamese who both suffered lacerations on their scalps. The other person hurt was a 35-year-old woman who sprained her ankle, the New Taipei Fire Department said.

The three were rushed to two nearby hospitals to be treated.

According to the Fire Department’s initial findings, the station, which also connects to high-speed rail and Taipei Metro lines, was crowded at the time of the accident with people who had just attended an outdoor Christmas concert outside New Taipei City Hall.

The escalator serving the station’s second platform had stopped moving, but it was still packed with people walking up and down it, the department said.

The escalator then started moving without warning, causing mayhem as people walking down stumbled and rammed into each other, leading to several falls, the department said.

Though the station’s management suspects that the excessive load of people on the escalator activated the moving stairs, the department said the Taiwan Railways Administration will investigate the accident further to clearly identify its cause.


33 posts were split to a new topic: Life on the MRT 2017


15 posts were merged into an existing topic: Return of Pinyin Wars