Thu, Dec 26, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Bureau sets freeway tolls for Lunar New Year break

HOLIDAY:For people taking the train, the operator said bookings for trains heading to the east coast will start on Jan. 7, while those for the west coast will begin on Jan. 8

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Freeway tolls for the Lunar New Year holiday — which falls on Jan. 30 to Feb. 4 next year — have been set at NT$0.9 per kilometer, the National Freeway Bureau said.

However, to ease congestion on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1), motorists taking the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3) for travel between Hsinchu and Greater Kaohsiung’s Yanchao (燕巢) will enjoy a 20 percent discount, the bureau added.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced that the new freeway “pay as you go” policy would be launched on Monday, but that drivers would enjoy a three-day grace period before the new rates go into effect on Thursday next week.

Based on the new policy, motorists will not be charged for the first 20km.

Drivers of small vehicles are to be charged NT$1.2 per kilometer for travel between 20km and 200km, with the rate dropping to NT$0.9 per kilometer if the distance traveled exceeds 200km.

Large vehicles are to be charged NT$1.5 per kilometer, while large trucks will have to pay NT$1.8 per kilometer. Rates for travel beyond 200km will also drop to NT$1.12 for large vehicles and NT$1.35 for large trucks.

However, given the heavy traffic expected during the Lunar New Year holiday, the bureau decided to cancel the 20km-toll-free service during the period.

The bureau had earlier proposed three different toll rates for the holiday — NT$1, NT$0.9 and NT$0.8 — before settling on the second one.

Motorists driving during off-peak hours can still enjoy toll-free travel between 11pm and 6am daily from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, the bureau said.

The bureau added that the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) policy would be enforced in certain freeway sections during the holiday, including from 7am to 12pm on New Year’s Eve for southbound traffic.

On Feb. 2 and Feb. 3, the HOV hours will last from 9am to 3pm for northbound traffic.

The HOV hours for northbound travel on the Chiang Wei-shui Freeway (Freeway No. 5) would begin from 3pm to 8pm on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4.

In other developments, the Taiwan Railways Administration said that commuters can soon start booking tickets for travel during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Bookings for trains heading to the east coast will start on Jan. 7, while those for southbound trains along the west coast would begin on Jan. 8.

Meanwhile, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp said that it would start accepting reservations at 12am on Tuesday.

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