Kiss and ride the high speed rail

Kiss and Ride sign at HSR Xinzhu Station

In my post about my trip to Xinzhu on the high speed rail I included a photo of this “Kiss and Ride” sign. I originally thought it was a peculiar Taiwanese translation of English, but miao-ah noted in the comments “this is probably borrowed from the Americans. I’ve seen “Kiss and Ride” at metro stations and “Kiss and Fly” at airports in Atlanta, Georgia.”

I googled the term “Kiss and Ride” and found that is in quite common use in North America. This blogger noted the use of the term back in 2004, well before the high speed rail would have put the signs in place. It is even mentioned in a Wikipedia article about Park and ride.

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While on the subject of signs I have a photo gallery of signs from Taiwan which I usually update weekly. You can also subscribe to the gallery’s RSS feed. The gallery aims to show a range of interesting signs and uses of language.

13 thoughts on “Kiss and ride the high speed rail

  1. ummmm~~it’s really odd to most of the local people cuz we don’t get the real meaning, thus we would think this is “KISS” and ride. But kiss in public is really weird in our culture.

    David, thank you for clarification.

  2. I rather like “Kiss and Ride”- it’s cute! Wouldn’t hurt Taiwanese people to show a little affection once in a while. 😛

  3. Dear Miao-ah:

    I agree! we are just to conservative in body languages. sometimes i really want to give my male friends a big hug to express my appreciate but just never dare to do that. simply because i just feel weird to do so.

    PS. just curious, is that a piggy or a kitty in your pic?

  4. Shiru, my pic is a kitty wearing a frog hat. I believe I got that from 🙂

  5. 喔!是喔!因為看起來像小豬哪!不知道是豬還是貓會覺得被侮辱到了?哈哈!
    sorry sorry! it just very cute. i have a cat, too! so I always pay special attention on the kitty’s pics.

  6. Pingback: Japundit » Kiss and Tell

  7. Reuters wire service globally ran this story today:

    “Kiss and ride” signs stump
    Taiwan rail passengers

    by Ralph Jennings, Reuters, TAIPEI

    Feb 5. 2007

    English-language “kiss and ride” signs at passengerdrop-off areas along Taiwan’s new high-speed rail line are confusing passengers in a society where sendoffs are normally not intimate.

    White-on-blue signs at the seven stations along the 345-kilometre (214-mile) Taiwan high speed railway use the colloquialism seen at some U.S. stations and airports which refers to an area where drivers can drop off their passengers, usually a spouse, in the morning and pick them up in the evening, often with an embrace.

    The Chinese-language version does not use the word “kiss”.

    “The English words ‘kiss and ride’ are a mystery to local people,” said an English teacher in the Chiayi, which is on the train’s route. “It implies that this is a place to kiss and then ride somewhere, but public kissing at train stations in Taiwan is a rarity.”

    A Taipei-based blog,, run by an English teacher from Australia, has generated comments that question as well as encourage the signs.

    “I rather like ‘kiss and ride’,” one commentator said. “It’s cute. It wouldn’t hurt Taiwanese people to show a little affection once in a while.”

    The signs were posted about two years ago, a year after railway planners learned that “kiss and ride” was used in Western countries, said a spokesman for the railway line operator, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp.

    High-speed rail authorities say they do not see a problem with the signs. A few foreigners have complained at one station in Taipei County, a spokeswoman said.

    The trains were launched on January 5. Taiwan’s high-speed rail is the world’s fastest track-based system along with Shinkansen lines in Japan.

  8. Pingback: David on Formosa » Reuters on “Kiss and Ride”

  9. It should be ‘drop off and pick up area’. Not everyone is from North America, ‘kiss and ride’ is just not appropriate in this setting. The purpose of the sign is to inform, we’re not adopting the culture here.

  10. while ‘kiss and ride’ do exist in the US, I’ve never seen it in California where I live, neither have I seen it in New Jersey the last time I took a train there to Manhattan. The only places I’ve seen it is in the DC area. I was pretty confused the first time seeing it too, someone local told me what it meant. Its an interesting phrase, and I agree, it is kinda cute. But I’m not sure if it serves the purpose of being informative, since apparently not all foreigners in Taiwan are from the US.

  11. The ‘kiss and ride’ is only in North America as you mentioned. I think to use this term is not good because its not a common term in the world. You’re a native English speaker from OZ, and you cannot understand the meaning of this term at first time you see it, how can we expect other people they know it especially not from North America? Use this term in the train station as information, it make people confused. Crazy THSR… Their assumption is all foreign passengers are from North America. Very bad.

    I agree that the term between UK and US is different, for example lift and elevator. Aussie use lift and American use elevator. But they can understand lift and elevator. In Taiwan, some terms are different between Taiwan (ROC) and China (PROC). For example, 記憶體 vs 內存 (memory). We can understand it somehow.

    For ‘kiss and ride’, its difficult to know the meaning without explanation.

    They should change it to ‘pick up and drop off area’, its easier to understand.

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