Demand for domestic transport around the country for this weekend has increased because of today's presidential election.
As many people need to return to their hometowns to cast their ballots, "there has been at least a 10 percent rise in reservations so far," said Lin Jun-yao, an official of the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA).
Lin said that the TRA would schedule an additional 128 trains, representing an extra 60,000 seats over the weekend, giving a total of 360,000 seats yesterday and today.
"Seats on all trains departing from Taipei to the south and east after 4pm on Friday [one day prior to the election] are all booked," Lin said. "Return tickets back to Taipei after the election are also selling fast."
Hsu Kui-chi, a spokesman for the Kuo-kuang Motor Transport Company Ltd -- the leading highway public transport company -- said that all tickets available for reservation are "in very high demand and almost sold out."
Hsu added that demand was so heavy that the company has been forced to rent dozens of extra coaches from other companies to augment its fleet for the weekend.
HIGH SPEED RAIL
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp was also experiencing a surge in bookings.
"Most people are planning to go home for the election after work on Friday, so that trains after 5:30pm are almost fully booked, " said Wu Chia-tian of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp.
Meanwhile, immigration officials said that large numbers of Taiwanese expatriates have packed every inbound flight in recent days.
The officials said that from the earliest flights of the day -- mostly from the US or Canada -- to the latest flights -- mostly from Hong Kong and Macau -- inbound Taiwanese expatriates have packed the lobby of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
All domestic carriers have added extra flights to their schedules to meet the sudden surge in passenger numbers, the officials said, adding that in comparison, the number of local people opting to travel overseas has dropped drastically in recent days.
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