Taichung has an array of options for transport both in and out of the city center. The cheapest and fastest way of getting around Taichung differs depending on whom you ask. While the city has no shortage of transportation options, you have to determine the best mode of transport when traveling in a certain destination.
Despite the multiple lane roads, you may still experience heavy traffic when getting around Taichung on land. Hence, driving a scooter is the fastest choice to break free from the congestion. If you have an international driver’s license or ARC(resident visa), you can rent a scooter, which costs NT$350 per day. Taichung Harbor Road is a major thoroughfare in Taichung City, experiencing the heaviest traffic congestion, especially during rush hours, late evenings or weekends as most of the city attractions like shopping malls and movie theaters are located on that stretch of road. Other busy streets include Yizhong Street and San Min Road close to Chungyou Department Store. Because the city is compact, you can also get around the downtown area by foot, walking along the sidewalk and checking out different street shops.
If you want to make the most of your trip in Taichung, the best way is to rent a car, which allows you to visit some attractions outside the city centre. Are there Romanized road signs in Taichung? Currently, the city uses the Hanyu Pinyin System Romanization of road signs. However, some signs still use the older MPSII and Wade-Giles Romanization. In counties, they use the alternative Tongyong Pinyin system. Do not be surprised to see many misspelled signs.
Another ideal way when getting around Taichung is by riding city bus. Located in front of the Taichung Train Station, city buses can be found almost anywhere across the city. If you intend to visit some famous attractions in the city, better list down your destinations and the corresponding city bus numbers to ride. Taichung bus transport system is quite comprehensive, covering almost the entire city borders with service to adjacent communities such as Dali, Tanzi, Fengyuan, Dongshi and Daya. The city has seven bus companies offering local bus service, including Renyou Bus Company, Taichung Bus Company, Quanhong Company, Giant Bus Company, U-Bus, Lianguang Company and Fengyuan Company. Take note that some bus services have a limited number of routes while others have access all throughout the city.
Besides taking a bus or scooter, riding a bike is making a comeback as a stylish form of transport, which is also convenient for people getting around Taichung. Currently, the city government provides a small number of separated bicycle paths in the streets to encourage more people. On the other hand, if you are in a rush, you can take a cab. Initial fare is NT$85 for the first 1.5 kilometers, then NT$5 for the succeeding 0.25 kilometers. Today, major taxi companies exist in Taichung and you can get a taxi right next to your door by calling their toll numbers. Take note that fares increases during late night or holidays like Chinese New Year due to added surcharge. Since most drivers can’t speak English, it is recommended to show a business card of your destination or hotel, or let someone jot it down for you.