The Taipei Metro is a commuter’s dream. After being wowed by the efficient and clean train stations in Korea, I was unsure of what to expect in Taiwan. It was nowhere to be found in a particular article about the ten best train systems in the world, yet a barrage of comments under that article were left asking, “Where is the Taipei Metro in this list?”
It’s a big mystery why this train system was not mentioned. Check out the photos under the cut (I’m sure you’d ask the same thing).
Our home station was Ximen, which falls on the blue line. Most of the popular tourist destinations are on the blue and red line. Consider staying in Ximending should you wish to visit Taiwan.
All stations have these machines, which I suppose is for single journey tickets. It’s better to purchase an EasyCard (you can buy it at the airport, I believe) to save on time, especially on transfers. The rate is also cheaper!
A huge part of any train system’s efficiency lies on the rules, and whether people follow such impositions. In the case of Taipei Metro, everything is in order. Take for instance waiting for the train to arrive. They have guides on the floor for forming two/three lines per door, which most people follow. What floored me was the fact that no one dares to barge inside the train until after the exiting passengers have alighted.
Some other notes: most stations have seats for the visually impaired, some even have Wi-Fi connectivity and charging bays for mobile devices, people stay on the right side of the escalator to allow those in a hurry to use the left side, the trains arrive on the dot, and announcements inside the train are in Chinese and English. Less chances of getting lost in translation (pun intended, unless you fall asleep on the train)!
The consistency in the details can make any designer’s heart flutter. Some stations were added at a later time, and they were able to apply the same design aesthetics for each station.
Do note that it’s not consistent to the point of being boring. Some stations have a twist to them, such as the one pictured above. This same station even features a mini-gallery! I have encountered some pretty interesting public art in some of the crowded stations, but failed to take photos because I did not want to inconvenience those who are in a hurry.
With everything that’s been said, what’s not to love about the Taipei Metro? Now I’m one of those readers who wonder why Taipei Metro is missing on that list.