Eleven Taipei Metro Bus routes were launched yesterday, and commuters who travel on the routes or the 29 bus routes between Taipei and New Taipei City could receive a 50 percent tranfer discount if they take buses in the two cities within an hour.
During his 2014 campaign for Taipei mayor, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) promised to adjust Taipei’s bus routes to encourage more commuters to use public transport and to help reduce traffic congestion during rush hours.
Ko last year said that an “eight horizontal and eight vertical” route system — for buses that travel mainly on eight north-south and eight east-west major roads with shorter dispatch intervals — would take effect by the end of this year.
The first phase was implemented on July 5 last year when five routes — Renai (仁愛), Minsheng (民生), Neihu (內湖), Dunhua (敦化) and Songjiang-Xinsheng (松江新生) — were launched.
The Taipei Public Transportation Office said bus ridership increased by 5 percent afterward.
The 11 routes launched yesterday are: Zhongxiao (忠孝), Xinyi (信義), Heping (和平), Nanjing (南京), Minquan (民權), Zhongshan (中山), Roosevelt Road (羅斯福路), Keelung Road (基隆路), Chongqing (重慶), Fuxing (復興) and Chengde (承德).
The “metro-like” Taipei Metro Buses have a dispatch interval of about four to six minutes during rush hours and five to 10 minutes during non-rush hours on weekdays.
E-ticket (such as the EasyCard) users receive a 50 percent discount for boarding a second bus within an hour of riding on a Taipei Metro Bus or one of 29 Taipei-New Taipei City routes.
With 16 new routes, the office said it expects bus ridership to increase to nearly 220,000 people per day, accounting for about one-sixth of the city’s total bus ridership, with about 35,000 transfers per day.
In related news, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp has launched a trial run for passengers who want to bring bicycles onto MRT trains on weekdays between 10am and 4pm.
Riders must follow the same rules as those applied on weekends: They must purchase a NT$80 bicycle ticket at a service counter, only use the first or last cabin on a train and cannot enter the seven stations that are among the most crowded.
The Wenhu Line (文湖線) also remains off-limits.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
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