The Taipei City Government is expecting 800,000 to 1 million people to gather in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) for the New Year’s Eve Countdown Party and the Taipei 101 fireworks display on Dec. 31, and said the public should take advantage of public transportation as it unveiled its traffic control plan for the event.
The Taipei 101 fireworks show is to be extended from 188 seconds to 218 seconds this year. The countdown party is to begin at 7pm in front of Taipei City Hall, featuring top pop stars, including Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕) and S.H.E, Taipei City’s Department of Information and Tourism said.
The party is to include a live broadcast with Japan’s NHK TV Station featuring Japanese star Masaharu Fukuyama interacting with the audience via live broadcast.
In addition to the main venue at the plaza in front of Taipei City Hall and Taipei 101 Mall, the department recommended several other sites around the city to view the fireworks show, including Elephant Mountain and Tiger Mountain in Xinyi District, which overlook Taipei 101, and the Maokong area and Shilin District’s (士林) Jiantan Mountain.
Taipei’s Department of Transportation yesterday also unveiled a three-phase traffic control plan for the countdown activities, with Keelung Road, Renai Road, Guangfu S Road, Zhongxiao E Road, Songren Road and Xinyi Road closed to all vehicles from 7pm on that day.
The Taipei Rapid Transportation Corp (TRTC) is to provide a 42-hour nonstop service on all MRT lines from 6am on Dec. 31. Trains are set to run every 2.15 minutes during peak hours.
Department Commissioner Wang Sheng-wei (王聲威) said that the opening of the Xinyi Line last month, which runs through Xinyi Road and includes a stop at Taipei 101, is likely to help ease the traffic in Xinyi District.
According to the TRTC, the ridership of the MRT lines during the New Year period last year reached more than 2 million and the company spent 3.5 hours to help people leave the area.
Wang said the department expected to complete the evacuation task within three hours this year, urging the public to take public transportation to the area.
After the countdown party, 160 shuttle buses are to be available to help passengers leave Xinyi District from 12am to 2:30am on Jan. 1.
Passengers can get on the buses at any bus stop in the area, he said.