How to Get Around in Taipei
Taipei is very convenient because of its vast transportation system. The MRT (Metro Taipei), buses, and YouBike can take you anywhere even if you do not own a car or scooter. The most convenient part is that they all use the EasyCard as a payment option.
yōu yóu kǎ
The EasyCard is like a debit card for travelers. You can use it at all the MRT stations, bus services, and YouBikes in Taipei. With the EasyCard, you will never waste time looking for the exact change.
The best place to get an EasyCard is the Information Desk of any MRT station.
With NT$200, you can get a new EasyCard with a deposit of NT$100 included for your travels. I would deposit more money if you plan on staying in Taipei long-term.
If you need to add more funds to your card then you can return to the MRT Information Desk to add any amount or use an EasyCard Add Value Machine to add funds with paper bills of NT$100, NT$500, or NT$1000.
The maximum amount you can add to an EasyCard is $10,000. And don't worry if you run out of funds during your travels. Your card can hold a negative balance of -NT$60 but you will need to have a positive balance before you can use it again.
If you are only in Taipei for a few days then another option for you would be to purchase a TaipeiPass.
The TaipeiPass can give you unlimited access to the Metro and associated buss services.
It is great for short-term visitors who will be traveling a lot with the MRT and buses.
1 day pass: NT$180
1 day pass with 3 Gondola trips: NT$250
2 day pass: NT$310
3 day pass: NT$440
5 day pass: NT$700
However, the TaipeiPass will not be worth it if you only use it a couple times. You should plan your travel and calculate your costs to see if you will actually save money with the TaipeiPass.
Getting in and out of the MRT with the EasyCard is a breeze. Go through an entrance with a green arrow and hold your card near the sensor.
捷運 - MRT
Use your card to enter and exit. Your fare will cost between NT$15 to NT$60 depending on the distance you travel.
When entering the MRT your remaining value will be shown.
Your fare is automatically deducted when you exit.
Your fare deducted and remaining value will be shown.
The MRT is the most convenient way to travel. Many visitors use it as their only method of transportation. It is English friendly and can take you to all the most popular places.
Buses in Taipei also accept the EasyCard, but it is not as easy as traveling on the MRT. The city has many buses so it is convenient but it can also be confusing for visitors who are unfamiliar with the routes.
You have to known exactly where you are going, which buses will take you there, and which direction to go. It is worth learning how to use the buses for long term visitors because you can go anywhere once you master the system.
At a bus stop, make sure to hold out your hand to signal to the driver that you want to get on.
Swipe your EasyCard when you get on and off the bus.
The EasyCard sensor is located right by the door. You will see it once you get on, but don't pay right away. Check if you are supposed pay when you get on board or when you alight.
This sign above the driver will tell you when to pay.
shàng chē shōu fèi
xià chē shōu fèi
You usually only have to pay once which is NT$15 but there are exceptions.
Before you reach your stop, just press the alighting button to notify your driver.
You can also get around Taipei with a bike sharing system called YouBike. They can be found around the MRT, parks, and activity centers.
YouBike requires a membership for use with the EasyCard. You can register at a kiosk with a valid Taiwan cellphone number.
The YouBike is safely locked to a EasyCard sensor. Once you register your EasyCard at the kiosk you can rent the bikes. You will need to find another YouBike station and return the bike to an empty slot.
Hold your registered EasyCard near the sensor to unlock the bike.
Make sure the bike is correctly secured when you return the YouBike. The sensor will beep when it is ready for you to pay.
腳踏車 - Bicycle
jiǎo tà chē
The YouBike is a great choice to travel short distances and get some exercise. It is also the funnest way to travel in Taiwan.
The YouBike costs:
NT$5 for the first 30 minutes.
NT$10 per 30 minutes within the first 4 hours.
NT$20 per 30 minutes between 4 to 8 hours.
NT$40 per 30 minutes exceeding 8 hours.
- Sometimes YouBikes have flat tires or other mechanical issues. You can quickly return the YouBike at the same station and not be charged.
- If you receive an error message when returning the YouBike then make sure you scan your card until you see Code 3. This will save you a lot of time when borrowing the YouBike next time as the system may take some time to process your payment.
Finally, the most expensive option is the taxi. Some taxis will accept EasyCard but most will not. Make sure you have cash on hand for taxis.
Taxis in Taipei City, New Taipei City and Keelung City have an initial charge of NT$70 for 1.25 kilometers. A charge of NT$5 will be applied after every 200 meters or during 80 seconds of idle movement.
There may even be a surcharge for your taxi ride.
There are plenty of taxis in Taiwan, but don't use them unless you really have to. The MRT, buses, and YouBike are much cheaper and usually just as convenient.
計程車 - Taxi
jì chéng chē
Now you are ready to get around in Taipei. Just get the EasyCard and start exploring!