Taipei Bus Lines - Useful Link


Sorry to resurrect a thread from the dead but perhaps it’s appropriate - the map is older than this thread, and unmaintained as far as I can tell.

They have put their bus data on Google Maps though, which is much more user friendly, you can get routes, see alternate bus routes, etc. It’s just a little out of date too (for example I think the R19 route near The European School has changed, but still shows the old route on Google?). Much better system though, especially if you have iPhone or Blackberry, there’s a very usable version of Google maps with transit information for those handhelds.

So actually it would be really cheap to make it easier for English-reading commuters, they just have to make sure the Google maps data is regularly maintained when bus routes change.


gamemaker, how do you access the bus information from google maps? I’ve just moved to Taipei and while I find the MRT easy and convenient, I’m clueless about the bus system. Everything I’ve found is either out-of-date, in Chinese only, or doesn’t work.
Thanks for you help!


I had the exact same trouble likeanyother, until I found the data on Google maps.

Go to an English languuage version of the Google home page (like and click on maps along the top.

Enter Taipei and it will pop up. Zoom in until you see the city. The MRT lines are on there, in the right colors, so that’s a great reference point.

On the top left of the screen you’ll see a link called “Get Directions” this pops up two boxes labeled A and B. The only difficulty is that the address searching only works well in Chinese (not pinyin). So what you do is move your mouse back to the map. RIGHT-click (with the right mouse button) where you want to go from and select “Directions TO Here”.

Now there will be a green A (start point) and green B (destination) on your map. You can grab either point with your mouse to move it around.

Final step, under the A/B address box there should be a little picture of a bus (“Also available: Public Transit”). Click on that and voila, you can even see exactly where the bus stops are.

Of course, there’s the deluxe (but expensive) version too: get a smart-phone with GPS. Then google maps will already know where you are, just click the destination and it shows the transit routes, and you always have it with you. Maybe not that expensive though if you go with a locally made phone (i.e., not iPhone or blackberry).

Or the super-duper-deluxe (and super expensive) version: the latest version of the iPhone, the 3GS, has not only a GPS but also a digital compass that works with Google maps, so it actually orients the map to match the real world based on the direction you’re holding the phone.


Gotta get my hands on one of these:

[quote]Taipei City’s Department of Transportation will issue an English-version Taipei Bus Route Handbook to provide better service to foreign athletes and guests for the upcoming 21st Summer Deaflympics in Taipei.
The handbooks will be available at MRT stations, district offices and tourist information centers around the city, said Cheng Chia-liang (鄭佳良), director of the department’s Public Transportation Office. [/quote]

From Taipei Times


Wow, anybody seen the English bus handbook yet?? That would be phat.

Followup: What’s the green laminated, writing-covered ticket the bus driver handed me today? Some lady sweetly and carefully explained it to me in all Mandarin … well, class doesn’t start till next week. I felt it was a transfer, so I gave it back at the end b/c I wasn’t going anywhere else. But if it is a transfer, how/where can I use it? If it’s not a transfer, what is it? I’m on a plain 'ol adult bus card.



Usually that’s to indicate what zone you bought the ticket in - for if you need to pay twice, or if you’ve already paid, or whatever. I get them on longer bus rides, I believe especially when you’re supposed to pay as you get on board the bus (and then the bus later changes to “pay when disembarking” - look for the 上/下車 sign at the front) - and yes, you give them back at the end.

Others can fill you in more. I’m vaguely clueless about those too. It’s one of those “grin and do what they tell me” situations.

As for an English bus map: don’t get your hopes up too much, as in all likelihood the pinyin system they (mis)use will make it impossible to find anything anyway.


Yeah, I got admonished by a brace of bus drivers yesterday, once for paying when I got on and once for not paying when I got on. :ponder:


Look at the little red Chinese text signs above the drive: easy Chinese characters. I don’t remember the whole string, but if it’s got “上車”, pay when you’re getting on the bus. If it’s got “下車", pay when you’re getting off. It’s pretty easy to remember the pair - just look at where the “arrow” is pointing, and that tells you when to pay.




@xitdude, I think you only pay once. $30x2 is too much for 10 minutes on the bus.

And the two doors, yes, I’m also confused. I’ve never been in a place where you should go in by the middle/back door.

I try to follow the locals.


[quote=“xitdude”]Hello, my question is sort of related to this post so I thought to post here.

I know there is something about YOYO CARDS, but I am seeking an answer related to few of these related to paying in cash. I’m a foreigner, can’t speak Chinese (yet), can’t understand Chinese (yet), and I’m always nervous if I am doing things wrong or if the driver will say anything to me… I know getting a YOYO CARD will save all the trouble, but I would prefer to pay in cash at this moment.

1a. Do I pay when I enter the bus and also when I exit the bus, or just when I exit the bus? I’m currently paying both, a total of $30NT, but I feel I might be wrong… I do understand that bus rates goes more high if traveling in a farther direction, but I understnad this isn’t really an issue or something bus drivers takes serious on. I only travel 10 minute.

  1. Compared with YOYO CARD users, I know they use the card when they enter the bus, and also use the card when they exit. If I pay in cash, how would the driver know I already paid when I entered already. I feel like I am doing the wrong thing again when I don’t pay even when I didn’t have to.

  2. I know there are 2 sides to the bus (where customers can enter the bus), I always feel maybe it is my luck that hte second door opens (not the one closest to the bus driver) so I don’t have to think about paying when I enter the bus. Is this really luck or is there a system I need to follow? (For instance, people who needs to pay in cash needs to enter from that second door or something…?) By “second door,” I am describing the door that usually have 2 wing-like opening on the middle side of the bus.



  1. You pay 15 nts for each “zone”.

  2. There is a sign on each door telling you to pay when you get on or when you get off, depending on the point where you got on was on zone 1 or zone 2 (most buses go through 2 zones). Chinese character for up means pay when you get up, down pay when you get down (off). So far, so good. Simple.


  1. Now, you paying (or having to pay twice) is not related to the distance or time on the bus, but rather the number of zones you cross.

For instance, I live in Xindian. If I go to Daan Park, the bus 642 will cross zone 1 at Gongkuan. Zone 2 would then start from Gongkuan to Minchuan. I would still have to pay two zones, even if I get on at McDonalds Taida -the previous stop to Gongkuan MRT, where the zone starts- just because I got on there, before the bus crosses the zone. Usually, the bus driver will give you a “transfer”, which means you have already paid for the zone, if there is possibility of confusion -people who get on 642 bus in Gongkuan MRT receive one, as they have paid for the following zone, but the “light” on the bus has not changed.

Buses here in Taiwan have the door in the middle, not directly in the back. Yes, there is a system. Follow the people. You get in from the back if you pay when you get off, and you get in from the front door when you pay when you get in. In general, if you crash against people, you are going in the wrong direction.

In summary, look carefully before you get on. You’ll know in a few days, as you will probably take the same buses all over again all the time to go to school.

Finally, let us know which bus is it, what number, which stop you get in. Maybe someone can advise an easier -and cheaper- way.


Thanks for the answers. It made good sense and I can finally get some nervousness off my chest. From the above reply, I can kind of tie in my stuff into the below paragraphs.

I live in YongHo City (YongHe City) in Taipei County. I am taking the bus 262 from there to Da-An near National Taiwan University in Taipei City. I also take 262 to go to the Taipei Main Station at times.

It takes maybe 10-15 minutes to my destination, but from the post reply, I guess I cross 2 zones in this case, so it makes sense to pay $30NT. Although my destination is close, it probably also means the 2 different zones cross (perhaps from Taipei County towards Taipei City and vis versa). Perhaps a miss in claculation of where I live now is why.


wow, I never knew there were bus-zones :doh:

Is there somewhere I can see a complete map of the zones?

I pay 30 nt from Sinjhuang to Taipei, yongji road. And only 15 nt if I stop at Ximen or taipei main station. Seems fair.

I’d like to add, that if you are confused about where to get off and on, when to pay or not, then just be on the safe side. Go in at the front, pay and go out again at the front. THe driver will “complain” if you do something wrong or forgot something. But usually they don’t do anything (sometimes they even say thank you!).

You learn a lot from just looking at what the other bee’s do :wink:



Is there somewhere I can see a complete map of the zones?


The maps at … x_6_1.html don’t seem to have that information, strangely. The maps on the signs at bus stops have it, the old chinese ones anyway. Not sure about the newer english/chinese ones.

Often the zones change at a bridge somewhere near the halfway point of the line. If there’s not such a bridge there’s usually a zone of three or four stops near the halfway point where it changes over.


Learn two Chinese characters:

If you see this one as the first character of the sign over the driver’s head that usually is a light-up red sign:

you pay when you get on the bus.

If this is the first character on that sign right in front of you, above the driver’s head, when you get on:

you pay when you get off.

It is possible that if the ride is over 2 zones, you will see the first one lit when you get on, and then see the second one lit when you get off.


This is also a good reason to have an Easy Card. Most of the machines are programmed so that you can’t use the same card twice in the same section.

The maps at the bus stops usually don’t have the sections marked, but the maps inside the bus usually have a diamond or triangle symbol where the section division is, and these also usually have bilingual listings of the stops. The confusing part is what to do in the transition area between sections. Usually the signs will change to 下 4 or 5 stops before you actually have to pay twice, so you don’t have to pay twice if you get on just before a zone transition and get off just after.

The method I used before figuring all this out also works well: watch what everyone else is doing and do the same. This does sometimes fail if you follow someone who also doesn’t know what to do.


I found that the machines don’t charge you twice recently if you are on the zone border and the sign has changed, but you’re not due to pay. But yeah, it’s a really confusing system…


Check out this app from , you can use it on any phone that supports MIDP 2.0. Load it up, click the little Bus icon at the bottom, and pick your line (only in chinese, but the 一般路線 are the standard numbered bus lines, then just pick your bus line and you’ll have real time information on the location of all buses on the line. Pretty nifty, been using it to get to work lately and I’ve watched the buses on it to see how accurate it is, it’s only about 10 second delay so if it says you still have 1 or 2 minutes, you really do still have 1 or 2 minutes to catch a bus.


Mysteries of Taipei’s bus lines unraveled. This is great. Thank you.


very useful! gonna buy myself a card this arvo! :slight_smile: