What is the Taipei Bus?
Taiwan's public transit system is extremely well developed, especially in Taipei where it covers practically every possible destination with relatively few transfers. Along with the Taipei MRT, the bus system accepts the EasyCard and provides an excellent, convenient way to get around the city.
Most buses are bilingual in Chinese and English, however, the bus system is not as standardised as the MRT. The bus system operated under cooperation between 15 private agencies, so translation and romanisation is not always consistent. It is recommended to always keep a Chinese written version of your destination for comparison.
Buses in Taiwan are commonly referred to as gōngchē (公車), compared to mainland China's gōngjiāochē (公交车).
Bus Transit Lines
For visitors, it is more practical to first look up the route you wish to take (by using a guide or Google maps, for example), then directly take that route, rather than try to understand the inner workings of the system.
It is also important to note that if a route contains a colour marker with a letter or Chinese character (like R or 紅 for red, etc.), that route will eventually pass by an MRT station along the red line.
How to Purchase a Ticket, and What is This 上 and 下 About?
Fares are calculated using a fare zone system. Most busses have three distinct fare zones. If the bus is showing a 上 (pronounced shàng, "on") character, pay NT$15 by cash or EasyCard upon boarding the bus. If the bus is showing a 下 (pronounced xìa, "off") character, pay NT$15 by cash or EasyCard upon alighting the bus. If you are on the bus when the 上 (first zone) switches into a 下 and enters the third zone, pay a second time when alighting because you have crossed into another fare zone. You do not need to pay again if still in the second fare zone. The fare zones are indicated by small triangles on the route maps. The safest method is to swipe an EasyCard. If you do not have to pay fare again, the machine will simply reject the swipe.
Hours of Operation
Each bus company has a different schedule for each route. In general, the first busses depart around 5AM and the last busses between 10PM and 12AM midnight.
To view specific information about line and route info, and to visit the Taipei eBus Website, click here.