Taipei has the EasyCard, which to be honest is rather easy to use to access public transportation and/or make purchases at virtually any convenience store, or supermarket. Some Taipei taxis have even installed EasyCard machines allowing you to pay with just a touch of your card.
Not to be outdone, Kaohsiung started its i-Pass card not long afterwards, but to be fair, it’s taken a bit longer for the card to catch on quite as much as Taipei’s version.
Luckily for consumers both companies are discussing finally collaborating to the point where we may only have to lug around one card no matter where you travel on the island, but before we get to that point, i-Pass is doing its best to boost its popularity by introducing creative designs.
A popular recent design looks like tiny “Taiwanese flip-flops”, which are usually blue-and-white, but in this case are green and white. Some speculated the green was a nod to a certain political party known to be popular in southern Taiwan, but the city and the company running the i-Pass card deny those allegations saying it was simply a coincidence.
Incidentally in case you’re wondering, those iconic blue-and-white flip-flops worn by many across Taiwan were reportedly conceived and mass-produced in the 1950s by a ministry with the R.O.C. Army tasked with providing the public with cheap rubber slippers.
The colors blue and white were chosen in tribute to the R.O.C. flag. Today they are popular with pretty much anyone who wants a solid pair of rubber slip-ons that beautifully defy fashion.
The Kaohsiung i-Pass flip-flops have sold exceptionally well since it was introduced, according to reports, and the company says it intends to continue creating novel designs for the i-Pass.