Tue, Jan 04, 2005 - Page 2 News List

MOTC issues regulations for Lunar New Year travel

HOLIDAY SEASON Early February will be the busiest travel time of the year, as thousands of Taiwanese make their way homeward to celebrate with their families

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MOTC) yesterday announced a host of regulatory measures for the Sun Yat-sen Freeway and the Formosa Freeway to ease the annual waves of traffic during the Lunar New Year holidays.

Vehicles carrying less than three passengers are barred from certain sections of the highways from 10am to 4pm on Feb. 6, 11 and 12.

On Feb. 6, when many people are expected to travel from the country's north to the south for Lunar New Year's Eve on Feb. 8, all cars carrying less than three passengers may not enter the southbound lanes from Neihu in Taipei City to Changhua County on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway and the southbound lanes from Sindian in Taipei County to Homei in Changhua County on the Formosa Freeway.

"We expect to maximize the utilization rate of cars and highways, as all people will be rushing home for family reunions," Administrative Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chang Chia-chu (張家祝) said.

On Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, when people are expected to return to northern cities for work, cars carrying less than three passengers cannot enter the northbound lanes from Kaohsiung to Neili in Taoyuan County on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway and the northbound lanes from Jiuru in Pingtung County to Tashi in Taoyuan County on the Formosa Freeway.

Transportation officials reminded single drivers that the designated ramps are closed from only 10am to 4pm on Feb. 6, 11 and 12.

"If drivers must take to the highways without two passengers, they should avoid the restricted hours," said Chang.

To facilitate the flow of traffic on the highways, the MOTC also announced that all toll stations on the highways will be closed during the same regulatory hours.

Apart from the designated three days, all toll stations on the two freeways will also be closed from noon to midnight on Feb. 8 and the following 24 hours of Feb. 9.

Transportation officials also called on the public to take buses and trains during the eight-day-long Lunar New Year holidays.

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