The Bureau of Transportation of the Taichung City Government continues to strengthen the bus network. The Bureau has promoted the metro bus corridors on six primary routes and they will hit the road on July 1. There are the Fuxing metro bus, Zhongxing metro bus, Taiwan Avenue metro bus, Zhongqing metro bus, Chongde metro bus, and Beitun metro bus in the network. The routes are all along straight roads without turns in hopes to improving Taichung City's bus network. Passengers will feel as if they are enjoying rail-like mass transit. Mayor Xiu-Yan Lu attended a press conference today (27) and said that the government planned the six metro buses according to the six routes with the highest number of passengers in Taichung. The mayor also said that they would expand the lines in the future if the implementation results are good. The public is welcome to take buses more.
The press conference on the launching ceremony of the Taichung metro bus was held in the square in front of Taichung Station today. The activity kicked off with the energetic dance from Shiny Girls of the Taichung Wagor Suns basketball team. Mayor Lu also attended the ceremony, and took a bus back to the city government afterwards. Mayor Lu said that Taichung is a big city with a population of about 2.8 million. The public transport system is crucial for supporting 130 million trips a year. Therefore, the city government actively improves the quality and availability of public transport to save energy and reduce carbon footprint. Since taking office, she has implemented the Double Ten Bus, the cheapest in the country - free within 10 kilometers and up to NTD 10 for more than 10 kilometers. The city government also expanded the promotion of Taxi + Bus, which utilized taxis as buses in rural areas. In addition, they will promote electric buses to save energy, reduce carbon footprint, and improve air quality.
Mayor Lu mentioned that Taichung has the most sizable number of electric buses nationally. The bus numbers of the six metro buses are 100, 200, 300, 500, 700, and 900. These metro buses are all low-floor accessible buses and run every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes off-peak to increase the frequency in accordance with the demand. In addition, they use six colors to strengthen the identification system, and various facilities such as stop signs and bus stop shelters are also unified in color so passengers can effortlessly identify them.
The Director of the Bureau of Transportation, Yeh Chao-Fu, pointed out that since the implementation of the “first 8-kilometer for free” policy in 2011, the passenger volume of Taichung buses has increased from 50 million to a 130 million per year. But in recent years, affected by the epidemic, the bus traffic has stood still. It allows locals and visitors intuitively travel in Taichung by bus through color recognition to improve passenger volume. The city government has decided to implement metro buses on the six primary roads in Taichung, hoping to increase the traffic volume again.
Director Yeh stated further that the six metro buses would officially hit the road on July 1. The route passes through MRT Green Line stations such as MRT High-Speed Rail Taichung Station, City Hall Station, Wenxin Xinqing Station, Wenxin Zhongqing Station, and Songzhu Station, forming a public transportation road network in the Taichung metropolitan area. The bus and MRT systems can achieve the effect of one plus one is greater than two through convenient transfers. Taichung's citizens can also enjoy free-of-charge access for the first 10 kilometers by swiping their EasyCards when taking the metro buses. The Bureau hopes to attract people to take the public transport and increase the utilization rate of public transport by improving the public transport network, providing reliable and frequent services, and offering Double Ten Bus concessions.
The Bureau of Transportation said that the six metro buses and their representative colors are: No. 100 Fuxing metro bus (gray), 200 Zhongxing metro bus (brown), 300 Taiwan Avenue metro bus (blue), 500 Zhongqing metro bus (orange), 700 Chongde metro bus (yellow), and 900 Beitun metro bus (red). Both the inside and outside of the buses are decorated with the corresponding exclusive color. The waiting stations for the metro buses, such as traditional stop signs, intelligent stop signs, and waiting facilities in the bus stop shelters also decorated with colors corresponding to the metro buses. The Bureau hopes to use color imagery to optimize those bus identifications.
The Bureau of Transportation indicated that to implement Mayor Lu's "Motion" to improve air quality, they use low-floor or barrier-free vehicles for operation. In the future, they will gradually replace them with low pollution electric buses powered by green energy to achieve the goal of a low-carbon, sustainable city and improve travel comfort. In addition, the bureau will restructure the trunk line bus policy and transportation resources and review the existing bus routes on the corridor, such as optimizing the 700 Chongde metro bus and the 900 Beitun metro bus, and enhance the efficiency of railway transfers and traffic. In addition, from July 1, they will adjust the No. 6 bus to go through the Shuinan Campus of China Medical University to strengthen the connection between the school's two campuses, the No. 82 bus into the Taichung Transit Center to increase the railway transfer, and the No. 82 ext. to Nanping Road, South District as a replacement for the original No. 102. The daily service frequency has increased from 12 to 16 shifts and the network around the metro bus corridors will be strengthened.
Mayor Lu, Yeh Chao-Fu, director of the Transportation Bureau, Yu-Rui Lee, director of Sports Bureau, Jia-Jun Chen, director of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Yu-Qi Han, director of Tourism and Travel Bureau, Zheng-An Shen, director of Local Tax Bureau, city councilors Shi-Zhou Liu and Qiong-Hua Wu, Zhen-Lin Su, chief of Taichung Transportation Branch of Taiwan Railways, Zhi-Ying Lin, chairman of Taichung MRT, Zhong-Xun Lin, district executive of Central District, Yi-Zhen He, district executive of Eastern District, passenger transport operators, the local chief of villages, and Passion Sisters all participated in the event today. City councilors Gong-Jin Zheng, Su-Zhen Qiu, Fu-Feng Xu, Wen-Zheng Chen, Shou-Da Huang, Ting-Wei Luo, Zhong Lee, Yan-Tong Chang, and Min-Cheng He also sent representatives to give their regards.