When you walk into an MRT station in Taipei for the very first time you’ll be astonished by its cleanliness.
You won’t see any graffiti, no obvious damage to the interior or exterior of the stations.
There is no sticky spots from ice-creams and no spilled coffee.
It should come as no surprise that no eating, drinking, smoking or chewing is allowed on the trains.
You can enter the station with a snack without problems, but you won’t be allowed past the tourniquets.
Smoking is an exception here as it is forbidden in the entire metro system.
The MRT in Taipei is comfortable, air conditioned and sting-free, which can be more important than you may think after taking a stroll in the streets of Taipei.
Travelling by MRT is cheap, easy, convenient and relatively fast though it can be a cramped travel experience in the peak hours.
You can view Taipei MRT route map here
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) or Taipei Metro is a rapid transit system that serves the metropolitan Taipei area.
The Taipei MRT is Taiwan’s first metro system. It has been operational since 1996. It currently consists of 11 lines that provide 103 stations, some of which are transfer stations.
In December 2012 the MRT transported 1.78 million passengers on average per day.
Operational hours: 06:00 – 24:00
Morning rush hours (weekdays): 07:00 – 09:00
Evening rush hours (weekdays): 16:00 – 19:00
You are highly advised to avoid the rush hours for a more comfortable ride as during that time some
station congest over 38,000 commuters per hour. Because there is such a high number of passengers at play, you are expected to condone the local rules that include queuing up in the “line-up” areas before boarding trains and not barging into a train before the passengers on it can exit.
Signs and announcements are both in Mandarin Chinese and English. Every carriage has an electronic display that
shows you the next station as well as differently coloured seat reserved for the elderly, pregnant women or passengers with disabilities. Depending on the time of day and a line of your choice the train intervals vary between 1.5 to 15 minutes.
There is a number of ways fare is collected and there is a number of different tickets ranging from old-fashioned paper tickets to pre-paid cards.
Single journey IC Tokens:
These tokens work on the principle of radio frequency identification allowing you to just swipe them over the sensor area and you can pass. They can be purchased from the ticket vending machines located in every station. You need to keep in mind that the token is valid only on the day of its purchase.
As the name suggests this type of ticket is valid for unlimited rides for a single day. It is valid for one passenger at a time only. This ticket, however, is not valid for the Maokong Gondola. It costs NT$200 including a NT$50 deposit. The deposit will be returned to you if you return the card within three days of its use.
Please note that One-Day Pass paper tickets are no longer available but they can still be obtained in exchange for a Taipei Metro gift coupon.
These provide a 20% discount for groups of 10 or more and a 30% discount for groups of 40 and more). This type of a ticket must be validated by a TRTC stamp and is subject to no refunds once issued.
Single Journey Ticket for Cyclists:
It costs NT$80 and allows one person to bring a bicycle into the system at selected stations. In addition to that it is only valid at certain time periods. It is subject to no refunds once issued.
This is the most common ticket used by the MRT passengers. These stored-value cards are issued by the EasyCard Corporation and allow for contactless electronic payments. They exist in a number of varieties including Adult, Student, Concessionaire, and TaipeiPass. See Types of EasyCards for more information. Other benefits of an EasyCard are that it can be used to pay for municipal fees and services.
When you enter or exit a metro station, you are required to tap the scan your ticket at the gate sensor. The reader will indicate that the fare has been paid and the gate will open. If a red “Do Not Enter” sign is shown the gate won’t open. In that case, consult the station’s customer service.