Mon, Jan 10, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Holidayers get advance-booking system

SIMPLE PROCESS The Taiwan Railway Administration said yesterday that it will try to ease the traffic gridlock during the Lunar New Year by offering advance bookings

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

To ease the gridlock on the nation's roads during the Lunar New Year, passengers who like to plan ahead can start to book their trains or flights today, transportation officials said.

From today, passengers can book eastern line trains for the period between Jan. 11 and Feb. 14.

From tomorrow, passengers can also book western line trains for the same period, according to the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).

"The tickets for Feb. 8 and Feb. 9 will be sold out soon, since people will be rushing home then to celebrate with their families. Also, the tickets for Feb. 13, 14, and 15 may also be sold out very quickly, as people need to return for work. Passengers should take advantage of advance bookings," the TRA's director-general Hsu Ta-wen (徐達文) said.

Passengers can dial the advance booking hotline on 412-6666 and 412-1111 to book their trains and can claim their tickets 30 minutes after booking time at local stations or post offices.

The railway authority also reminded passengers who booked their tickets online to claim them within five days at local train stations.

"Last year, the TRA handled 570,000 passengers on a single day during the traffic peak before the Lunar New Year's Eve. This year, we expect to expand the daily load to up to 590,000 passengers," Hsu said.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) also announced that a total of 526 flights will take off between Feb. 3 and Feb 16. In these 14 days, the CAA will add 312 flights to the Taiwan-Penghu route, offering a capacity of 23,666 seats.

The CAA also plans an extra 208 flights on the Taiwan-Kinmen route in the same time period, offering a capacity of 21,830 seats. An additional six flights with a total load of 336 passengers will run from Taiwan to Matsu during the vacation.

"For the sake of efficiency, the airways companies will offer advance bookings from 6pm to 8pm daily," CAA Director-General Billy Chang (張國政) said.

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau also cautioned people to keep warm during this week. As Taiwan is being influenced by a large cold air mass from China over the next two days, the mercury may drop to a low of 11?C, the bureau said.

Another cold front may arrive on Friday and the temperature is expected to edge lower, according to the weather forecast.

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