Freeway drivers will be given a 20 percent discount on toll fees over the weekend next week as part of the government’s plan to ease the traffic congestion on the freeways during the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday.
The holiday this year will be a long weekend from April 4 to April 6.
The National Freeway Bureau said the discount was designed to encourage people to tend to the graves of their dearly departed on the weekend before the actual holiday to avoid being stuck in traffic.
The bureau said that the traffic volume on the national freeways could top between 2.2 million and 2.4 million vehicles on March 29 and 30, and drivers should expect congestion in several road sections.
Meanwhile, the bureau will also open shoulders in several freeway sections for traffic, including those on the side of the southbound lanes between Yangmei (楊梅) and Hukou (湖口) on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) and between Dashi (大溪) and Longtan (龍潭) on the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3).
The bureau added that it will activate the meters on the feeder roads to the freeways to regulate the vehicles entering the main lanes, adding that more shoulders would be opened for traffic should the congestion worsen.
Regarding the traffic on the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, the bureau has proposed giving freeway drivers toll-free hours between 12am and 5am during the three-day holiday.
The proposal is scheduled for review by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications tomorrow.
The bureau said Tomb Sweeping Day is an important holiday for Taiwanese. Aside from tending the graves of family members, many people also use the time to travel, it said.
The bureau said the traffic volume in the first two days of the holiday could potentially reach between 2.4 million and 2.6 million.
The bureau has also proposed canceling the 20km of toll-free distance during the holiday, with each freeway driver being charged an identical rate.
The high occupancy control policy may also be applied to regulate the northbound traffic on the Chiang Wei-Shui Freeway (Freeway No. 5), the bureau said.