Among Taiwan's lofty peaks and steep valleys sit many of the island's remote villages and communities. In this environment of sparse population and sometimes deficient roads, traditional bus services face operational challenges, adding inconvenience to residents' everyday lives. The government in recent years has sought to bring transportation equality to such areas, pushing into every isolated pocket with a diverse and flexible range of transport solutions focused on the people who will use them. This drive has seen gradual success in bridging the final mile between remote communities and the wider transportation network, with public bus service reaching 88.33 percent coverage in 2020 compared to just 70 percent in 2016.
The future will see a continued focus on regulatory easing, application of technologies to match needs to solutions, expanded infusion of private-sector resources, and the pooling of corporate donations and contributions to bring transportation services tailored to needs of individual remote communities.
Achievements and innovations
■ Road safety enhancements in remote areas: This includes road bed maintenance, resurfacing and other infrastructure projects aimed at achieving regional balance with increased quality across the overall roadway network.
■ Mobile licensing and registration stations: Rural residents can access government services related to motor vehicle operation—including scooter and motorcycle training and operator licensing, cancellation and return of license plates, and traffic safety education facilitated by digital technology—closer to home at mobile service stations.
■ "Easy bus" services: Largely run by local government, with a few routes contracted to bus or livery companies, this service primarily provides prescheduled bus service at set times along set routes, coupled with the option for advance reservations in some cases.
■ "Easy taxi" services: Some bus routes have been opened to taxis to offer more flexible transport services. Mainly based on fixed routes and timetables, this service also accommodates advance booking of rides.
■ Pilot ride-sharing program: A common technological platform connects drivers of private vehicles and those seeking rides, with a ride-matching service center scheduling routes and vehicles to provide a seamless public ride-sharing service.