Taipei launches double-decker bus to promote tourism

Taipei- A "hop-on, hop-off" double-decker bus service, the first of its kind in Taiwan, hit the road in Taipei Wednesday, allowing tourists to visit major tourist spots in the capital in four hours for NT$300 (US$9.50).

The bus, painted bright red, is equipped with free phone chargers, Wi-Fi connection, and audio tour guide services in Mandarin, English, Japanese and Korean, available via an app, the Taipei City government said.

There are 47 seats on the upper deck, 10 sheltered and 37 open, as well as nine regular seats and one seat for s passenger with disabilities on the lower level, it said.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (???) said during the inauguration ceremony that he hopes the service will give tourists a different perspective when they travel around Taipei.

There are six types of tickets, which range from a four-hour ticket for NT$300, a daytime ticket for NT$500, and a nighttime ticket for NT$400, to a full-day ticket for NT$700 and a two-day ticket for NT$1,200. Passengers with disabilities, seniors (excluding non-nationals) and young children get a 50-percent discount on the fares.

A north-south "blue" route and an east-west "red" route -- both circular, starting from the Taipei Train Station and covering some 20 kilometers -- will be available, the city government added.

It takes about 110 minutes to complete either route but passengers can get on and get off either bus an unlimited number of times as long as their tickets remain valid. The eight buses that ply the two routes run every 30 to 40 minutes.

The blue route, which operates between 9:10 a.m. and 4:20 p.m., takes passengers to tourist sites such as Ximending, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the Shilin Official Residence and the National Palace Museum.

The red route, which runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., travels around mainly downtown Taipei, including the Daan Forest Park, the Taipei 101 skyscraper and its surrounding shopping areas, and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel