One of the best ways to get around Taipei is through the MRT – it’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s connected to most of Taipei, and above all, it’s hassle-free.
Navigating the Taipei subway system is fairly easy since there are plenty of directional materials, in both English and Chinese. Transfer stations are also relatively close, and at most times you will only need to transfer to the opposite train.
It is also worth noting that the stations have maps of the immediate surrounding area and tourists spots, which we’ve found very helpful for visitors.
TAIPEI METRO LINES
There are five main transit lines in the Taipei Metro:
- (Brown) Line 1
- (Red) Line 2
- (Green) Line 3
- (Orange) Line 4
- (Blue) Line 5
However, it should be noted that the lines are more commonly referred to by their terminal station rather than their color name. For example, the Red Line 2 is more commonly known as the Tamsui-Xinyi Line, since it ends at either Tamsui or Xiangshan.
QUICK TIP: For faster and easier navigation, take note of the your line’s terminal station of destination. That way, you’ll only have to look for the name of the terminal station to find out what direction and which train you’re supposed to take. If you’re at the Taipei Main Station taking the Red Line and going to Taipei 101, the directional you should look out for is “Xiangshan”.
TICKETS AND FARES
There are many ways to purchase a ticket for the MRT but we recommend buying the EasyCard pass. It’s a convenient reloadable stored value card that can be used on the metro, on buses and taxis, and in convenient stores and other establishments as well. Using the EasyCard also gives a 20% discount on MRT fares – ranging from NT$16 to NT$52, depending on the distance. For visitors, it’s best to buy the deposit-based EasyCard pass worth NT$100 (for the deposit), and load it with your desired amount – we initially loaded our cards with NT$200. EasyCards can be purchased at EasyCard Sale & Add Value Machines in all Taipei Metro Stations.
QUICK TIP: Take note that there are Sale & Add Value Machines and Add Value Machines in the stations – it can be a bit confusing. You cannot purchase a card from the Add Value Machines as it is only for reloading.
Using the EasyCard is easy – you just tap it on the sensor and go, but remember to tap it on both entry and exit. Your card balance will be shown on the sensor screen upon entry, while the deducted fare and remaining balance will be shown upon exit. You can also check your card’s remaining balance at any EasyCard Reader at all Taipei Metro Stations.
By the end of your trip, you can get your deposit back (and a refund as well if you still have remaining balance on your card) when you surrender your EasyCard to a ticketing counter in any of the Taipei Metro Stations – just tell the person at counter that you would like to get your deposit and refund.
For more information about the EasyCard, you can visit their website here.
- SINGLE-USE TOKEN
If, however, you prefer not buying a stored value card (or if one is not immediately available to you), you can also purchase a Single-use Token. These tokens are colored blue, sized like coins, and can be bought from the ticket machines as well with fares ranging from NT$20 to NT$65. Like with the card, you tap it on the sensor upon entry. However, you deposit it at the token slot on the gate upon exit.
QUICK TIP: Hold on to your Single-use Tokens. Since they are small and light, they can be very easy to lose.
- OTHER TICKET OPTIONS
Other ticket options for purchase include the One-Day Pass, 24Hr/48Hr/72Hr Passes, Group Tickets, and Bicycle Passes. You can read more about these ticket options here.
Taipei Metro trains operate daily from 6AM to midnight, at intervals of 1.5 to 15 minutes depending on the line and time of day. For more information, you can visit the Taipei Metro website here.