Since Reuters put out an article about the "Kiss and Ride" signs at the high speed rail stations in Taiwan there have been many comments on my blog. The Reuters article was reprinted in the China Post here in Taiwan. Around the world it also appeared in a number of places. Marc noted in the comments that the article had appeared in the "Metro" in Belgium. Google News also shows that the article appeared on the websites of stuff.co.nz (a website for newspapers published by Fairfax in New Zealand) and scotsman.com in the UK. It was also on Yahoo News.
There were also many comments on my blog. Several people noted that the signs could be found in North America. Kevin said, "The first place I saw "Kiss and Ride" signs were on the Washington, DC METRA system about 12 years ago. I don’t recall seeing them elsewhere in the US."
It's not just limited to North America either. Ed Smith said, "it is also used in Europe in Germany" and Allen Funt wrote the "signs can be found in many places even in Japan". Here is a link to a photo of a kiss and ride sign in Germany.
However, some others from North America had never seen the term before. Hai Tien wrote, "I’d have to say though having lived for several years in California and Colorado that I’ve never seen “Kiss and Ride” in all my years of riding public transportation." Steven Franchuk noted, "I live in the US and have never seen "Kiss and Ride"."
Reaction to the signs also varied from amusement to objection. YT wrote, "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." Miao-ah said, "I rather like “Kiss and Ride”- it’s cute! Wouldn’t hurt Taiwanese people to show a little affection once in a while." Shi-ru thought it was out of tune with the local culture. "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.", she noted.
Some commenters thought the sign was just confusing. "I’m not sure if it serves the purpose of being informative, since apparently not all foreigners in Taiwan are from the US." wrote OC. As noted earlier even some people in the USA are unfamiliar with the term.
I am waiting to see if the Apple Daily (蘋果日報) or any other Taiwanese media cover the story in the next few days. It would be interesting to see the Taiwanese media's perspective on the issue.