Sun, Mar 27, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Traffic smooth despite massive march

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite the 2,800 tour buses rushing into Taipei City and hundreds of thousands of protesters marching on the streets yesterday, Taipei police and transportation officials reported smooth traffic after they took steps to avert chaos.

To ease the traffic flow, the Taipei City Police Department mobilized over 4,800 police officers and imposed traffic regulations on the ten parade routes that spilled across half of Taipei City. As of press time, city officials reported no traffic accidents, saying the mass protest closed on a peaceful note.

The Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation also reported an unprecedented load of up to half a million passengers by 4pm yesterday, a figure that is about 120,000 passengers more than usual holiday traffic.

Apart from adding 300 MRT police and volunteers to enforce crowd control, the MRT also added more trains to help people leave the city center.

Meanwhile, railway authorities said five additional express trains took 5,000 people from the south to Taipei yesterday.

"These passengers are expected to head back south around 7pm. We believe ten additional train runs will ease possible congestion," said the director of Taipei Main Station, Chiu Rong-hwa (邱榮華).

"As soon as the cars and tour buses can get out of Taipei City, there will be no jams on the Sun Yat-sun Freeway or the Second Freeway. There are only minor jams around highway stop areas," said the director-general of the Taiwan Area National Freeway Liang Yueh (梁樾).

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