Getting Around – Taipei, Taiwan
People depend on public transportation system a lot in Taipei. The system is fast, economical and clean, which benefits the local residents as well as the tourists.
There are several bus companies in Taipei, and sometimes they serve the same route. The waiting time between two buses is about 10 to 20 minutes. Riding buses in Taipei is very easy, although there are different companies and different buses with colorful designs. As long as you get on the correct number and color, you will get to where you want to go. Experienced bus riders recommended purchasing a bus guide and asking the drivers for directions.
This official Web site for Metro Taipei has a lot of useful information for commuters including tourist attractions. There are six major routes to connect the districts and small cities in Taipei County. If you plan to stay in Taipei City, you might want to get familiar with the Danshui Line, Muzha Line, Xindian Line and Banan Line. During the peak hours, you will need to wait from two to seven minutes for the next train. If it is off-peak, the waiting time prolongs to 15 minutes depending on the lines. The trains are punctual.
Taking a cab is an alternative to get around in Taipei. There are signs showning where the cabs can stop and pick up the passengers, but if you stand on a slow track and wave and them, they will stop. The cost is higher than riding Metro Taipei. From 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the price is NT$70 for the first 1.5 kilometers and then each 300 meters, customers will pay extra NT$5. If there is too much traffic, and the speed is below five kilometers per hour, customers will be charged NT$5 extra for every two minutes. If you call and make a reservation, there will be an extra NT$10 fee. From 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., the price starts at NT$90 for the first 1.25 kilometers, then every 250 meters is an additional NT$5. When the driving speed is below five kilometers per hour, every one minute and forty second is another NT$5. This fee also applies to national holidays and two days before the Lunar New Year. If you use the trunk for storage, there is a NT$10 service fee.
Renting a vehicle is possible in Taipei. Information can be found at the hotel lobbies, Internet, tourist centers, car rental companies and travel agencies. Visitors can either rent a car or motorcycle/scooter as long as they have valid international driver’s licenses, but parking is expensive and difficult. Therefore, I would not recommend rentals in Taipei City unless there is a specific reason that you need to have a car. Another way visitors can travel in town is to “rent a driver!” Talk to the cab companies, drivers, rental companies or hotel customer service departments for this possibility. The idea is that you will be assigned with one designated driver who will take you wherever you want for the time you want to. Customers will pay the fee for the service without extra charge. The fee is slightly more expensive then the previous options, but the drivers can speak foreign languages that help communication.