Mon, Feb 02, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Freeway traffic not so congested during lunar holiday period

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Freeway traffic was smoother than expected yesterday on the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday, as a majority of motorists hit the road early to avoid congestion.

As of 6pm, the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau’s instant traffic information system showed that driving speed at a majority of freeway sections, both northbound and southbound, was above 80kph.

Only a few sections of the nation’s freeways were affected by traffic jams, with driving speeds between 40kph and 80kph. Those sections included the freeway between Shiding (石碇) and Toucheng (頭城) on Freeway No. 5 and the Yenchao (燕巢) Interchange System connecting Freeway No. 1 and Freeway No. 3.

Bureau statistics also showed that traffic volume topped 2.14 million vehicles on Saturday, about 1.4 times the regular daily average. Approximately 240,000 vehicles passed through the toll booths during the toll-free hours between 12am and 7am.

In other news, less than half the respondents in a recent survey by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said they would be willing to share cabs with strangers if a carpool service were offered at designated taxi stops and provided on commuter routes approved by the government.

The telephone survey, conducted in November, questioned people aged 20 and above in regular households and collected 1,067 valid samples, with the level of confidence reaching 95 percent.

One of the questions was designed to test public perception of sharing a taxi with other commuters. About 45 percent of the respondents said they would choose the taxi carpool service, whereas 54.9 percent said they would avoid the service.

About a quarter said they had taken a cab within the month before the survey was conducted. Asked how they found cabs, more than 68 percent said they hailed taxis on the road.

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