After nearly four months of operation, Taipei’s double-decker sightseeing buses have not caught on with tourists as ridership has only reached about 35,000 passengers with 35 trips each day, UDN reported. The tour buses began service on January 18.
The Taipei City Council questioned whether the sightseeing route was attractive enough for tourists, but the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism said that all bus routes must be approved by the Department of Transportation. The tourism department added that it will look into marketing to see whether it can be improved.
Several council members took a trip on the sightseeing bus to evaluate the situation. They found that with the upper deck covered, the sights are obscured. They also noted that the bus does not make enough stops and it is inconvenient to hop on and off as tourists would like to do.
They questioned why the bus stopped at the Ministry of Audit instead of in front of Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
In addition, they said the headphone cord for the tour was too short and there was a lack of luggage storage. Plus, the driving conditions were not stable, which is common on most commuter bus routes. Overall, the council members agreed that the sightseeing bus is not tourist friendly.
The lowest fare for the double-decker sightseeing bus is currently NT$300 (about US$10) for a four-hour ticket, which council member Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元) said was too expensive. He proposed that the government should find a way to subsidize the tour buses to attract more tourists with a lower price. Other tickets range from NT$400-1200 each.
Visitors and residents can check out the Taipei Sightseeing Bus routes and information on the company’s official website. There are currently two routes for the buses, one of which is a loop through the center of the city while the other goes north to the National Palace Museum.