People planning to take road trips during the New Year holidays will be able to take advantage of toll-free hours on freeways between 12am and 7am from Saturday next week to Jan. 1 to avoid heavy traffic, the National Freeway Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau added that it will implement a high-occupancy vehicle policy on several northbound interchanges on Freeway No. 5, including Toucheng (頭城), Yilan, Luodong (羅東) and Suao (蘇澳).
The policy is set to be implemented from 2pm to 8pm on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
The bureau also said that all construction and freeway maintenance work will be suspended during the four-day holiday.
It said it would also activate the meters on the feeder roads to regulate vehicles entering the freeways, adding that it will adjust the meters depending on the traffic situation.
Some shoulders on Freeway No. 3 will be opened for traffic between 5pm and 7pm every day during the holiday, including the southbound section between Dasi (大溪) and Longtan (龍潭) interchanges, the northbound section between Wufong (霧峰) and Jhungtou (中投) interchanges and the northbound section between Jhulin (竹林) and Guansi (關西) interchanges.
The bureau estimated that daily freeway traffic could hit between 1.7 million and 2.3 million vehicles during the four-day holiday.
Meanwhile, railway enthusiasts have something to look forward to next month as the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) announced its itineraries for its new “cruise train” services scheduled for the first quarter of next year.
The TRA introduced cruise train tours in 2008.
It said that it will only offer two-day cruise train tours from next month until March, and the ticket price would cover transportation, food, accommodation, tickets to various scenic spots and guided tours.
The ticket prices for the cruise train tours start at NT3,990.
The South Link Railway tour is set to be one of the new tours available next year and is to be launched on Jan. 19. Travelers can visit a secluded station called Fangye (枋野), a Bunun Aboriginal leisure farm and several tourist attractions in Guanshan Township (關山) in Taitung County.
Another cruise train tour, which is to be launched on Jan. 26, will depart from the northern Taiwan in a steam train.
Visitors will see Dongshan (冬山) train station in Yilan County, which is the only train station in Taiwan where platforms are covered by a large shed. Travelers can also visit the Rareseed Farm (瑞穗牧場) and hot springs in Jiaosi (礁溪).