TPASS Transportation Card Guide

This is an overview of Taiwan’s TPASS public transportation pass.

I have an obsession for Taiwan’s smart cards and transportation passes and with the release of the TPASS, I had to know whether this purchase will lower my transportation costs.

What is Taiwan’s TPASS?

  • Best for: Traveling throughout a specific region and staying in Taiwan for a month

TPASS is a public transportation card that targets locals or long-term stayers that’ll give folks unlimited usage on the following public transportation methods:

  • Taiwan Railway Association (TRA): Local train
  • YouBike: Not actually unlimited
  • Intercity & city buses
  • Light rail transit (LRT): Above-ground transit
  • Mass Rapid Transit (MRT): Subway
  • Certain ferries: Boats to outlying islands

This pass lasts for 30 days, after which you must renew it. Each pass you purchase is only usable in the region where you buy it.

The “T” in TPASS represents “Taiwan” and “Transport.” Why not call it TTPASS, then?

I digress.

The Ministry of Transportation released the card on July 1, 2023. It supports 11 cities and counties where the most commute happens. They’re working on adding more areas to enhance the cards’ coverage.

Large-Scale TPASS Regions Compared

Taiwan has divided the TPASS into a million smaller areas. However, these are the larger-scale passes I could find information on.

I’ll provide information on pricing for the smaller-scale passes (e.g., for only Taitung County), afterward.

Northern Taiwan / 基北北桃

  • Price: NT$1,200
  • Where to Buy: Service counters or ticket kiosks at New Taipei and Taipei MRT stations, any Taoyuan MRT station (except Xingnan Station)
  • Where it’s Usable: Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, and Taoyuan
  • Applicable Ticket Type: EasyCard
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)Taipei MRT, New Taipei MRT (Circular Line), and Taoyuan MRT.
Light Rail (LRT)Danhai and Ankeng light rails.
City BusAll city buses within supported areas.
YouBikeFree usage for 30 min. 60 free minutes in Taoyuan.
Intercity BusAll intercity buses within supported areas.
Taiwan Railway AssociationAll stations on the Yilan Line, Pingxi Line, Shen’ao Line, & Zhongguan Line.
Where you can use the TPASS in Northern Taiwan.

Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli / 桃竹竹苗

  • Price: NT$1,200
  • Where to Buy: Any convenience store
  • Where it’s Usable:Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli
  • Applicable Ticket Types: EasyCard and iPASS
Taoyuan MetroTaiwan Railways
City busHighway bus
Where you can use the TPASS in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli.

Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, Miaoli / 中彰投苗

  • Price:
    • NT$699: Taichung residents
    • NT$999: Non-residents
  • Where to Buy: Any convenience store
  • Where it’s Usable:Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, Miaoli
  • Applicable Ticket Types: EasyCard, iPASS, icash 2.0
Taichung MRTTaiwan Railways
City busHighway bus
Where you can use the TPASS in Central Taiwan.

Southern Taiwan / 南高屏

  • Price: NT$999
  • Where to Buy: MeNGo website or app, Kaohsiung MRT station, and any convenience store
    • Or the following bus stations in Pingtung: Hengchun, Donggang, Fangliao, and Pingtung
  • Where it’s Usable: Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County, and Tainan City
  • Applicable Ticket Type: iPASS (second-generation)
YouBikeFree for 30 minutes.
City BusAll city buses within supported areas.
TRAHoubi Station <-> Fangshan Station
LRTKaohsiung Light Rail (LRT)
FerryGushan <-> Cijin & Qianzhen <-> Zhongzhou
Intercity BusAll intercity buses within supported areas.
MRTKaohsiung MRT
Where you can use the TPASS in Southern Taiwan.

Chiayi / 嘉義

  • Price: NT$399
  • Where to Buy: Any convenience store
  • Where it’s Usable:Chiayi
  • Applicable Ticket Types: EasyCard, icash 2.0, iPASS
Taiwan RailwaysHighway busCity bus
Where you can use the TPASS in Chiayi.

Taipei, New Taipei, Yilan / 北宜

  • Price: NT$1,800
  • Where to Buy:
    • Yilan: Luodong transfer stations, Yilan Jiaoxi
    • Taipei and New Taipei: Banqiao station, Science and Technology Building MRT station, Taipei City Hall station, Nangang station
  • Where it’s Usable: New Taipei, Taipei, and Yilan
  • Applicable Ticket Types: iPASS, EasyCard
Taiwan Railway AssociationPingxi Line stations, Shenzhen-Ao Line, Yilan Hanben station <-> Yingge Station
BusesBuses in Yilan county
Intercity BusesBeiyi 
Where you can use the TPASS in Taipei, New Taipei, Yilan.

Here’s the Pricing in Different Regions

Here’s the pricing for the TPASS throughout different areas, starting in Northern and Eastern Taiwan:

RegionPrice (Lasts 30 Days)
Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, TaoyuanNT$1,200
Yilan CountyNT$750
Taoyuan, Hsinchu, MiaoliNT$1,200
Hsinchu CityNT$288
TPASS prices in Northern Taiwan.

Central Taiwan:

RegionNotes (Important)Price (Lasts 30 Days)
Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, MiaoliTaichung residentNT$699
Taichung CityTaichung ResidentNT$299
Yunlin CountyNANT$199
Chiayi CountyNT$399
TPASS prices in Central Taiwan.

Southern Taiwan:

RegionNotes (Important)Price (Lasts 30 Days)
Tainan, Kaohsiung, PingtungNANT$999
Tainan CityIncluding TRANT$399
Excluding TRANT$299
Pingtung CountyIncluding TRANT$399
Excluding TRANT$299
TPASS prices in Southern Taiwan.

Eastern Taiwan:

RegionNotes (Important)Price (Lasts 30 Days)
Hualien CountyIncluding Hualien-Taitung busNT$399
Excluding Hualien-Taitung busNT$199
Taitung CountyNANT$299
TPASS prices in Eastern Taiwan

All the passes for smaller areas will work with city/county-wide inner- and intercity/highway buses, YouBike rentals, and Taiwan Railway Association (TRA) trains. There are restrictions with using the TRA, I’ll cover those later.

It took 20 minutes for me to wrap my head around the pricing, but it does seem practical. Considering it’s for commuters and not tourists.

The North’s card may seem expensive, but it’s much cheaper than the previous model (NT$1,280), which had unlimited MRT and bus rides in only New Taipei and Taipei cities. Plus, with the TPASS, you get the TRA access.

How to Buy It

To get the TPASS Easy Card, One Card, or icash 2.0, you must pay NT$100 for an empty card before paying one of the rates in the above table.

tpass scaled
This is what all TPASS cards look like.

Do I Need to Buy a TPASS Card to Purchase a Commuter Pass?

You can also use your existing EasyCard, iPASS, or icash 2.0 to set up a commuter pass. However, the Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, and Taoyuan monthly passes only use EasyCard.

The Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, and Miaoli monthly passes can use EasyCard, iPASS, or icash2.0. The Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung monthly passes can only use iPASS MeNGo cards. The government will gradually add cards in the future.

Taiwan Railways and public bicycles temporarily do not accept icash 2.0 monthly passes since they don’t generally accept icash.

Existing EasyCard regular cards, EasyCard student cards, and co-branded EasyCards can all purchase specific commuter passes. However, you cannot use cards such as senior citizen cards and love and care cards.

The Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung monthly pass requires the use of iPASS second-generation cards with the following designs:

  • TPASS Tainan/Kaohsiung/Pingtung
  • MeN Go general card
  • iPASS digital student card second-generation (with “IPass PLUS” on the back).

How to Add More Money

Refill your TPASS’ balance by visiting customer service counters or kiosks at metro, train, and bus stations.

How to Use it

Purchase and set up the pass at the designated commuter pass sales points (MRT, Taiwan Railways, bus stations, etc.) announced by each city and county.

Activate within 30 days after purchase by tapping the card on the automatic gate at the following stations or when entering these modes of transportation:

  • MRT stations
  • Buses
  • Highway buses
  • Intercity buses
  • Light rail ticket machines

The validity period is 30 consecutive days starting from the date of activation.

TPASS EasyCard uses the new generation SuperCard. By becoming a member of Easy Wallet. Thus, you can buy commuter passes online directly through the Easy Wallet APP on your mobile phone.

For iPASS MeNGo cards, new purchases or renewals of monthly passes on the website/APP require a card setup at Kaohsiung MRT station service counters, 7-11 ibon, or TPASS service centers before use.

Taiwan Railway Association Usage & Rules

Unlimited rides on local (express) trains, Chu-Kuang Express, and PP Push-Pull Tzu-Chiang Limited Express are allowed.

However, you can’t use the pass on the following tourist trains:

  • Taroko Express
  • Puyuma Express
  • 3000 series Tzu-Chiang Limited Express
  • Other designated trains (exclusive or non-reserved seat trains)

The commuter pass has restrictions on the entry and exit stations, and passengers cannot exceed or transfer beyond the designated usage area. If the entry or exit station is not within the usage area, the full fare will be deducted from the electronic ticket.

Other Questions People Have for the TPASS

Can I Upgrade or Change my TPASS Plan?

You cannot upgrade or change your TPASS plan type. You must buy a new card or wait until your current plan expires.