Transportation Bureau of Taichung City Government has planned to open five Shinkansen bus routes in 2013, among which #150 Airport Shinkansen has already opened to the public since April 10 in conjunction with the inauguration of Taichung Airport’s new terminal. Operations of the other four routes have been also commissioned to the selected bus companies after they were rated and voted by the Evaluation Commission. It is decided that #151 Tali - Wufeng Shinkansen and #153 Guguan Shinkansen (Several bus runs will be scheduled to reach High Speed Rail Taichung Station) will start offering service on July 1, while the #152 Fengyuan Shinkansen and the #154 Dajia Shinkansen will be launched on August 30 to facilitate students going to school for the new semester.
To effectively shorten the travel time between the suburban areas (mountainous, coastline and village areas) and the downtown area, the Transportation Bureau has planned to open five (5) Shinkansen bus routes this year, which will make use of the freeways and expressways to reduce the number of stops and provide more punctuate, faster, better, and safer traffic service. Among the five routes, the #150 Airport Shinkansen has already been open to the public since April 10 in conjunction with the opening of Taichung Airport’s new terminal. The bus is painted with an aircraft and has been very well received.
The other four (4) Shinkansen routes from #151 to #154 have also been commissioned to the bus companies rated and selected by the Evaluation Committee. The #151 Tali - Wufeng Shinkansen and #152 Fengyuan Shinkansen have been commissioned to the CT Bus Co., the #153 Guguan Shinkansen to the Fengyuan Bus Transportation Co., and the #154 Dajia Shinkansen to the Taichung Bus Co. The shuttle buses of each route are painted with their own special designs for easy identification and every one of them is required to pass the tilt stability and safety tests by the Automatic Research and Testing Center (ARTC) before they can hit the road.
Transportation Bureau pointed out that to meet the demand of both students and tourists, all the selected bus companies are requested to shorten their preparatory period and begin operation as soon as possible. The #151 Tali - Wufeng Shinkansen (Taichung Children's Art Museum - Wufeng - National Highway No. 3 - Expressway #74 - High Speed Rail Taichung Station - Chaoma - Taichung New City Hall) and the #153 Guguan Shinkansen (Guguan - National Highway No. 4 - National Highway No. 1 - Chaoma - Taichung New City Hall and some bus runs are arranged to reach the High Speed Rail Taichung Station) will begin operation on July 1. The #152 Fengyuan Shinkansen (Taichung New City Hall – Fengyuan) and the #154 Dajia Shinkansen (Taichung Girls' Senior High School - National Highway No. 1 - National Highway No. 4 - National Highway No. 3 – Dajia) will begin operation on August 30 to meet the demand of students on the school opening days.
Departure time will be arranged as follows: The #151 Tali - Wufeng Shinkansen and the #152 Fengyuan Shinkansen are scheduled to dispatch a bus every 10 - 15 minutes during the peak time on weekdays and every 20 - 30 minutes during the off-peak time on weekdays and weekends. The #153 Guguan Shinkansen will operate on a fixed timetable: The number of runs to and from Taichung New City Hall will be 26 while that for the trip to and from the High Speed Rail Taichung Station will be10 on weekdays but 20 during holidays. For the #154 Dajia Shinkansen, the number of runs will be at least 72 on weekdays, and at least one bus will be dispatched every 10 - 15 minutes during 5:40 am - 7:00 am at the Dajia station and during 16:30 pm- 18:00 pm at the Taichung Girls' Senior High School station. The number of runs during weekends and national holidays will be at least 48.
Transportation Bureau said that the five Shinkansen bus routes will effectively connect Chingchuankang Airport, High Speed Rail Taichung Station, Chaoma Highway Transfer Station and Dajia Railway Station to provide seamless integration between different transportation modes.
Taichung City Government is continuing its 8 km free ride and NT$60 ceiling policy this year. Its "Love City Bus i384" program was also awarded the 2012 Grand Prize for Establishment of Participation and Suggestion System by the Executive Yuan. The Transportation Bureau said that the 8 km free ride and NT$60 ceiling policy will apply to Shinkansen bus routes, too. Take Guguan Shinkansen as an example. You must pay NT$197 for a ride from the High Speed Rail Taichung Station to Guguan if without any concession but you will only pay NT$60, saving you NT$137 due to this preferential ceiling policy, which is meant to save time and money for people going to Guguan to enjoy the hot spring and to promote the region's tourism.