Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Dragon Boat Festival rail tickets sell like hotcakes

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) launched a presale ticket session yesterday for trains departing during the Dragon Boat Festival holidays.

This year's Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 19th of this month, which is a Tuesday. The holiday, however, begins from the evening of the 15th (Friday).

Yesterday's presale session began at 6am. By 12pm, southbound tickets for Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung with reserved seats for some of the more popular time slots had all been sold. Northbound tickets for the 19th had sold out as well.

According to a TRA statement, approximately 80,000 tickets had been reserved by 8am. The number was estimated to have exceeded 200,000 by 11am.

Tickets for the Tzuchiang Express to Hualien and Taitung on the evening of the 15th and on the morning of the 16th have all been reserved.

All the reserved tickets must be picked up within three days, or the reservations will be canceled.

Seats in commuter trains are still available.

To facilitate the transportation of travelers, TRA has added an extra 169 services to accommodate the increase in passengers during the four-day holiday.

On the freeways, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau announced that it had no plan to execute the High Occupancy Vehicle Control policy during the four day holiday, nor did it plan to make driving on freeways toll-free for motorists.

The bureau estimated that freeway traffic will only be slightly higher that on a normal weekend.

It is, however, considering activating the freeway meter system and allowing motorists to drive on the hard shoulder when the traffic gets heavy.

The bureau estimated that the heaviest freeway traffic will occur on the 19th.

Airlines have arranged cross-strait charter flights departing Taipei and Kaohsiung, including eight round-trip flights between Taipei and Shanghai, two round-trip flights between Kaohsiung and Shanghai and two round-trip flights from Kaohsiung to Xiamen (廈門).

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