Traveling in Taiwan: Electronic Transportation Pass

Last Updated: 201601

London has Oyster Card, Hong Kong has Octopus, Taiwan of course also as something along the lines of electronic tickets that can save travelers time and money when moving through the city.

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Taiwan's Electronic Tickets are fairly similar to Japan's system. Different vendors issue their own tickets,and most of the tickets are interchangeable under common situations. Aside from saving the trouble of keeping and learning about the coin changes, there's also a 20% discount whenever taking the metros, and the most awesome part is that even KFC takes the card.

Right now for most of the travelers, your most common and readily available choice are going to be EasyCard and iPASS, which are the two cards we're going to introduce to you.

How to Purchase the Card

  • Easy Card: Taoyuan International Airport Electronic Ticketing Joint Service Counters, Taiwan's four major chained convenience store, and Taipei Metro's Taipei Main Station
    • Rental Type: NT. 100 per card, within each card has a NT.100 deposit, available fund is NT.0 (If the card is refunded within three months and more than 5 uses, NT.80 partial deposit will be refunded)
    • Buyout Type: NT. 100 per card, excluding the deposit and available fund, non-refundable
  • iPASS: Taiwan's four major chained convenience store, Taipei Metro's Taipei Main Station, Kaosiung Metro stations
    • Buyout Type: NT. 100 per card, excluding the deposit and available fund, non-refundable

Where Can I Use it?

Metro Transportation Channels

  • Metro(MRTs): EasyCard can only be used in Taipei Metro as of right now, but iPASS can be used on both Kaosiung metro and Taipei metro.
    • Taiwanese Railways(TRA): Both EasyCard and iPASS can be used, but only in between Suao = Keelung = Chaozhou. This route includes each of the branch lines but not the Alishan Forest Railway
    • City Buses1 : Depending on the light signal, it'll let you know whether to pay when boarding or exiting. But when the bus crosses the fare zone then you'll have to pay in whichever case.
    • Highway Buses1 : Tap to Pay on both boarding AND exiting.
    • City Wide Public Bikes: For examples like Taipei's YouBike and Kaohsiung's CityBike, you can simply register online or at the Kiosk, then tap to pay for the bike.

For a more complete coverage on how you can use the cards, please check EasyCard and iPASS their official websites.

Paying for Goods at Stores

When shopping in places such as convenience stores, fast food stores, or select night markets, you might be able to use EasyCard or iPASS to pay for it. Generally if the store or stand accepts this form of payment, there will be stickers or signs at the front door and the tap to pay area near the checkout counter.

For stores that have announce that they take EasyCard payments please click here, for stores that have announce that they take iPASS payments please click here.

How to Re-Load

  • EasyCard: Can be reloaded at any stations of Taipei Metro(even in the forms of coins), or at any convenience store with an EasyCard sticker(only in the multiples of NT.100)
  • iPASS: Can be reloaded at any stations of Taipei Metro, any re-charge machines at Kaohsiung metro, and the convenience stores.

Final Words: So Which One Should I Choose?

After so much information, still can't figure out which card to choose? Here's some realistic advice:

There's really no major differences between the two types of cards. If your journey mostly covers the Taipei city area then EasyCard would be your first choice since it also covers smaller transactions. If you're also traveling to Kaohsiung, then iPASS can also be a viable choice. After all the difference is really down to the stores or vendors that can take the electronic payments. If comparing on this aspect, then EasyCard would be the choice to go due to its availability.

Translated by Nasha

Peter Chen

Cofounder at Outland Inc
A railfan, aviation fan, backpacker, member of MozTW.
Learnt coding at preschool, and have had a great interest in IT technologies since then.

鐵道迷、航空宅、背包客、MozTW 社群成員。
從幼稚園中班開始踏入電腦與網路世界,自此對各種資訊科技有著極大興趣。

Latest posts by Peter Chen (see all)

    hellowings


    1. City Buses(Fare Zones) and Highway Buses (Distance Traveled) each have their own way of paying especially according to each individual route. What we list here is the most common situation. If you're unsure than just ask the driver "Should I Pay?" and they'll let you know. After all, in the fare zone model you wouldn't be charged twice even if you tap to pay twice in the same zone. 

    Author: WingShark

    Hellowings' mascot, wander in the sea of air tickets days after days, in order to sniff out the best deals out there. His ultimate mission is to find wings that can accompany travelers throughout the world. At the same time loves to share everything about the Hellowings Journey, he takes traveling as life in a nutshell, every step can yield enriching experiences. Hellowings 吉祥物,每天徜徉在機票海裡,為了嗅出最超值的票價而努力,終極使命是替旅人找到足以漫遊世界的翅膀。在此同時也樂於分享有關於旅行的一切,認為旅行就是人生的縮影,每一步都是成長所需的養分。