Thu, Jan 13, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Government takes steps to smooth holiday travel

IMPROVING FLOWS There will be restrictions on freeway travel on several days of the Lunar New Year holiday, and toll stations will be closed on two key days

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

To facilitate the flow of traffic during the eight-day Lunar New Year holiday, all toll stations on the nation's freeways will be closed for two days beginning at noon on Feb. 8 until midnight the following night, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday.

This year's Lunar New Year's Eve falls on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and the holiday will run from Sunday, Feb. 6 to Sunday, Feb. 13.

Apart from the designated two days, all toll stations on the freeways will also be closed for car pool lanes from 10am to 4pm on Feb. 6, Feb. 11 and Feb. 12.

Vehicles carrying less than three passengers are barred from traveling on certain sections of the highways during those special hours.

On Feb. 6, all cars carrying less than three passengers are not allowed to 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, Changhua County on the Formosa Freeway.

On Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, 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.

For railway transportation, a total of 1,594 rounds of train services will be added to the regular schedule during the holiday period. It is estimated that trains will carry about 44 percent more passengers than usual.

The booking for round-trip eastbound trains opened on Monday and that for westbound trains began on Tuesday. Travelers can pick up their ticket the same day they book it and the ticket will become invalid if it is not picked up five days after the booking.

Booking for long-distance bus services for the holiday will begin on Jan. 22. A total of 5,298 rounds of bus services will be added to the regular schedule. It is estimated to increase the daily passenger transport volume by 45 percent.

To help travelers coming from offshore islands during the holiday, a total of 2,655 flights will be added to the regular schedule, providing more than 182,000 seats.

The booking for airplane tickets with regular schedules for the New Year holiday began on Dec. 20 last year and that for the additional services began on Monday.

Ship services to and from offshore islands will have 224 more trips added to the regular schedule. It is estimated that ships will transport over 54,000 people, more passengers than usual during the holiday.

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