By Stephanie Chao, the Eye on Taiwan staff writer
The Taipei City and New Taipei City governments have jointly announced the launching of an “All-Pass Ticket,” which will allow commuters to have unlimited rides of the metro system and public buses within Greater Taipei for a month at just NT$1,280 or NT$42 per day.
The 30-day pass, on sale beginning Tuesday (March 13) and set for operation from April 16, will also allow commuters to have free YouBike rides in the first 30 minutes of usage, according to the city governments.
Those planning to purchase the monthly pass can bring their EasyCards, credit cards with EasyCard function or EasyCard Debit (usable for over 60 days) to a booth in Taipei Main Station or buy at each station’s autoload booth, they said.
On April 16, commuters who have bought the pass will be able to swipe through the gates at each station for the unlimited rides, they noted.
The All-Pass Ticket targets commuters who pay over NT$20 for each ride, transferring between public buses and the metro or more than NT$42 in total transportation fees on a daily basis. But public buses operating in Greater Taipei that charges by distance are not included in the package, they said.
A tentative calculation of a round trip between Tamsui Station to Taipei Zoo Station, after 20% discounts using the EasyCard, will cost NT$104 and add up to NT$2,288 if the commuter takes the metro for 22 working days each month. Using the “All-Pass Ticket” package would save the commuter NT$1,008, according to the city governments.
The two city governments held a ceremony on Monday to announce the launching of the new pass. Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu both took the Taipei Metro to Daan Park Station for the ceremony.
Taipei City Government Department of Transportation Commissioner Chen Shyue-tair said the travel pass will greatly benefit commuters who live in the outer rim of the Greater Taipei area as the pass can help them save transportation costs.
Chen said he hopes the monthly pass would help encourage private motor vehicle commuters to consider taking the public transportation.
Chu, in his own opening remarks at the ceremony, said on the average, two million travelers take the metro and 2.1 million take public buses each day. If more private motor vehicle commuters choose to use the monthly pass, it will not only help increase the daily number of public commuters but also reduce air pollution.
Taipei Mayor Ko also urged citizens to take the public transportation frequently in order to solve the city’s traffic congestion.
Monthly passes in Kaohsiung
Meanwhile, the Greater Taipei is not the only one rolling out their own monthly passes. Kaohsiung City’s Department of Transportation has teamed up with the Kaohsiung Metro Company to roll out monthly packages between March 1 and July 31 for the locals.
There are no restrictions on stops, distances, and rides for commuters taking the Kaohsiung metro, and commuters are also able to take unlimited rides on public buses for 30 days after paying NT$1,600 for the monthly passes, the department said, adding students can get a discount at NT$1,400.
Kaohsiung Metro Company reminds citizens to bring their ID cards or documents proving they are Kaohsiung citizens or students if they want to purchase the monthly passes now available at each station’s information center.