Motorists driving on freeways during the New Year holidays can calculate their estimated travel time with the help of the new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said yesterday.
Kang Jhy-fu (康志福), deputy director of the bureau’s traffic management department, said motorists would be able to check online (1968.nfreeway.gov.tw) for the estimated travel time between two freeway interchanges or between two toll booths before leaving home.
They can also have a look at the traffic through online video feeds before deciding which route they should take.
“Once they are driving on the freeway, they can get updated information through electronic billboards installed along the way,” Kang said.
Taking the Hsinchu Interchange as an example, where Freeway No. 1 and Freeway No. 3 converge, Kang said that drivers in the northbound lanes would be able to decide which freeway to take with the help of the traffic information displayed on electronic billboards.
The billboards currently only warn motorists when there are traffic problems or heavy fog up ahead.
But the ITS will enable the billboards to show where there is heavy traffic and the estimated time needed to travel to reach the next interchange.
It will also inform drivers about information such as toll-free hours during the holidays.
Kang said the ITS was functioning at 76 electronic billboards and that the bureau was scheduled to have approximately 100 billboards across the country ready by the New Year holidays.
Approximately 300 are expected to be running before the Lunar New Year holidays, which begin on Jan. 25.
Kang said the bureau planned to improve the ITS by informing drivers when the shoulder of the road is open during heavy traffic and offering a traffic information-exchange system and automatic surveillance of the traffic in the tunnels.
The new services are scheduled to begin by May.
Meanwhile, Kang said that motorists could access the latest traffic information through global-positioning-system (GPS) devices. The bureau has provided traffic control information to the nation’s GPS service providers free of charge.
The ITS only monitors the traffic on seven freeways and 12 expressways on the West Coast.
In related news, the bureau said yesterday that all freeways would would be toll free from next Friday to Sunday between the hours of 12am and 7am to facilitate traffic flow.
In addition, the shoulder roads between Taoyuan and Jhongli (中壢) and between Sanying (三鶯) and Dasi (大溪) will be open to traffic during the holidays.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would