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Smart Bus Service for Better Citizen Experience in Taiwan

Taipei Bus Station accommodates 970,000 buses every year and transports more than 29 million passengers. There are 10 bus operators with more than 20 manual ticket counters. As the ticketing system of each bus operator is run separately, there is no integrated platform for passengers to purchase tickets online. Without the real-time ticketing status, bus operators are unable to keep buses on schedule, which increases their operating costs.

Hence, the Taiwan government is implementing the “Smart City Taiwan Project” through the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to promote industrial upgrading and transformation and the development of digital technologies.

The project that focuses on transportation, healthcare, governance/security, tourism/retail, agriculture, and education, provides subsidies for businesses to develop innovative applications. So far, the project has pulled in 719 businesses to develop more than 223 smart applications, benefiting 8.54 million people.

Taipei Bus Station app horizontally integrates the ticketing of 11 highway bus companies, and continues to negotiate with different companies For non-systemic companies, TBS also provides a franchisee system with complete. With a smartphone in hand, people can enjoy one-stop service via the app from checking available seats, purchasing tickets any time, and receiving reward points online to boarding with tickets presented.

TBS also enables bus operators to keep real-time track of the ticketing status, thus keeping buses on schedule. As to vertical integration, TBS supports three mobile payment methods for saving ticket paper and human resources. Passengers can exchange tickets with the same bus operators 30 minutes before boarding. In remote areas where the network connection can be unstable, passengers are allowed to present their tickets offline.

Overall, TBS as well as 158 ticket-checking devices, has been successfully introduced to bus stations in 17 cities or counties across Taiwan. It has 180,000 registered members and about 50,000 active users. The number of ticket purchases averages 1,000 per day. Through TBS, not only can reduce the customer pressure from the counter, improve service quality, but also be an opportunity to promote industrial upgrading, which is an important milestone in transportation informatisation.

As an extension to the project, the Maritime Port Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTOC) integrates ticketing platforms to offer a one-stop mobility service. To realise the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept, TBS also provides accommodation and travelling in the most cost-effective way, which is expected to effectively boost the economic activities of surrounding industries.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, to deal with the rapid changes from technological innovation, Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation established the “Transportation Technology Industry Report”. This initiative is to promote cross-domain exchanges between industry, government, education, and research through governance innovation, link technology, industry, and society, and open a new future for the transportation technology industry.

Through the composition of the report, various government ministries and committees have closer exchanges. The government is proposing strategies and action plans for short, medium, and long-term industrial development. In the next four years, the Taiwanese government will also invest in trillion yuan to launch the largest governance innovation and industry promotion project with the largest number of participants.

Transportation construction is an important driving force for the country’s economy. Taiwan will make every effort to promote smart transportation, rail construction, and smart sea and airport design so that Taiwan’s industry can keep up with the development of technology and improve the quality of life. Taiwan aims to be an internationally renowned intelligent transportation technology island.

To create a smart transportation system with “people-oriented transportation”, the 5G smart transportation experimental field promotes cross-domain cooperation to create a new generation of transportation services and infrastructure. The field also promotes emerging transportation industry standards and application verification mechanisms and develops transportation technology

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