Designed by three American firms in 1985, construction of the TRTS began in 1988 with the engineering and the electric subway cars manufactured by European, Canadian and Japanese contractors. The first routes began operations in 1996, instantly relieving Taipei residents of overcrowded streets and buses. The expansion of the system into the suburbs has delivered a better quality of life for all residents in Taipei.
The system has five principal color-coded lines and 80 stations, and stretches for 191.3 kilometers (119 miles). As with the Bay Area Rapid Transportation (BART) system, ticket prices on Taipei’s metro are determined by the distance traveled, with prices ranging from NT$20 (US$0.63) to NT$65 (US$2.00). Passengers with bicycles are charged an additional NT$80 (US$2.50) each.
Frequently scheduled trains, together with the orderly behavior of passengers has enabled the system to convey roughly 2.16 million passengers to their destinations each day. The system has consistently received high satisfaction scores, as high as 95 percent, according to a recent survey.