Wed, Dec 29, 2010 - Page 2 News List

New Year’s Eve revelers urged to use mass transit

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei City Hall and surrounding areas in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) will be closed to traffic on Friday, New Year’s Eve, for the Taipei 101 fireworks and countdown concert, the Taipei City Government said yesterday, as it encouraged the public to use public transportation.

Traffic controls will start at 7pm on Friday around City Hall on: Keelung Road, Renai Road, Guangfu S Road, Zhongxiao E Road, Songren Road, Xinyi Road, Songshou Road and Shifu Road. It will then expand to Songde Road and Zhuangjing Road between 10pm on Friday night and continue to 3am on Saturday.

All vehicles will be barred from entering or leaving the area during the period and traffic police will adopt flexible traffic control measures on major roads leading to the area, said Dennis Huang (黃勢清), chief of the Taipei City Police Department’s traffic division.

Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) general manager Tan Gwa-guang (譚國光) said all MRT lines will offer 24-hour service beginning at 7pm on Friday, and services will operate with two minute intervals between trains. TRTC will exercise flexible volume control measures at major MRT stations, and trains on the Blue Line could skip MRT Taipei City Hall Station during periods of maximum capacity.

“We strongly recommend passengers who want to enter the area to take advantage of the MRT and shuttle buses, and those who want to avoid the crowds should leave the area before 7pm,” Tan told a press conference at City Hall. “Traffic on New Year’s Eve is always a challenge, but we are prepared to offer the best service with the experience we have,”

To facilitate crowd dispersal after the festivities, the Department of Transportation will offer shuttle buses at the intersections of: Guangfu S Road and Civil Boulevard, Renai Road and Yenchi Street, Keelung Road and Wenchang Street, Songde Road and Hulin Street, and Xinyi Road and Tunghua Street.

The Maokong Gondola will also extend its operation hours to 1am on Saturday, offering another location to enjoy the fireworks.

The fireworks show at Taipei 101 — now in its seventh year — will feature a 288 second program that will shoot 30,000 rounds into the night sky.

The annual New Year countdown party in front of City Hall will feature pop stars such as A-Mei (阿妹) and Mayday (五月天), as well as taekwondo star Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君). The event will run from 7pm on Friday to 1am on Saturday.

For the Republic of China Centennial Celebrations countdown party at Dajia Riverside Park on Friday night, the transportation department will exercise traffic control from 8pm on Friday until 3am on Saturday on: Binjiang Street, Dazhi Bridge, the underpass on Fuxing N Road, Beian Road and Mingshui Road.

Traffic control measures will also be exercised on Zhongshan N Road and Minzhu E Road from 8pm on Friday to 12:20am on Saturday.

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