Highway traffic is expected to pick up today as people start hitting the roads for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday inspected the agencies under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to ensure that everything runs smoothly over the holiday, which begins tomorrow, the day before Lunar New Year’s Eve.
The Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) unveiled its strategies for facilitating traffic flow on the upgraded Suhua Highway, which officially opened on Jan. 6.
Photo courtesy of Tainan Police Department’s Yongkang Precinct
It said that it would closely monitor southbound traffic on the highway on Saturday and northbound traffic on Tuesday next week, as the traffic volume is expected to reach a record 19,000 and 22,000 vehicles on the southbound and northbound lanes respectively.
The highway’s traffic control center in Nanao Township (南澳) in Yilan County would use a traffic signal system to ease the congestion along certain sections, including between Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (Freeway No. 5) and Suao Township (蘇澳), and between Hualien and Chongde (崇德) in Hualien County, it said.
DGH Director-General Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯) said that from today to Friday afternoon most people traveling along the highway would be visiting family.
However, from Sunday to Tuesday next week, most short-distance highway travelers would be visiting temples or going on excursions, whereas long-distance travelers would tend to be on tours or visiting their wives’ families, a Lunar New Year tradition, he said.
From Tuesday to Wednesday next week, most highway travelers would be heading back to work, Chen added.
Sibin Expressway (Highway No. 61), which was designed as an alternative to the Hsinchu-Tainan section of National Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1), would have 13 rest areas along the way, Chen said.
Starting today, the speed limit would be raised from 80kph to 90kph, he added.
From today to Wednesday next week, freeway bus operators are giving passengers on 89 bus routes a 15 percent discount, the DGH said, adding that passengers who buy tickets from the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA), Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (台灣高鐵) or for freeway buses can take one trip on a local bus free of charge.
People taking the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service can get a 50 percent discount on tickets if they pay with an EasyCard or other smart cards during the holiday, it said.
The TRA and Taiwan High-Speed Rail forecast that the highest single-day volume would be on Monday, with the number of passengers reaching 905,000 and 322,000 respectively.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South