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Thu, Jan 06, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Traffic expected to
be heavy during Chinese New Year

TRANSPORTATION The government is planning measures to deal with the usual congestion that the holiday period brings to road and rail networks

STAFF WRITER

With Chinese New Year approaching, government agencies and private transportation firms are preparing for increased traffic on freeways, railways and in the air as hundreds of thousands of people make their way to their hometowns and to visit relatives.

Freeways across the country will be toll-free from Feb. 3 at 6pm to Feb. 8 at 6am during the Chinese New Year holidays, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.

However, beginning on Feb. 4 and continuing for the next two days, from 7am to noon each day, all southbound vehicles must carry at least four passengers.

The same regulation will apply for northbound vehicles beginning on Feb. 7, from 7am to noon, the spokesman said.

Only small-sized vans, taxis and cars holding four people or more will be allowed to use the freeways during these "passenger control periods," the spokesman said.

The number of people taking trains is also expected to increase dramatically, according to government officials.

A spokesman for the Taiwan Railway Administration said that it plans to add around 500 extra trains during the period from Feb. 2 to Feb. 13, to deal with approximately 560,000 daily passengers expected nationwide.

Reservations for trains during the Chinese New Year holidays beginning Feb. 2, may be made starting on Jan. 24, the spokesman said.

In addition, airline reservations for flights to the outlying islands of Kinmen, Makung and Matsu are currently being accepted, a spokesman for the domestic airlines industry said.

For information on freeway traffic during the holiday period, call toll-free on 080-008456

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