Bureau sets new rules for holiday traffic

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - Page 3

Toll booths on national freeways will not collect toll fees between 11pm and 6am during the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the National Freeway Bureau said.

In the past, the bureau has set the toll-free hours between 12am and 7am to ease home-bound traffic during the holiday. However, it decided to push the period back an hour earlier this year.

The bureau estimated that freeway traffic would start increasing on Wednesday afternoon and would be the heaviest on Thursday, which could see between 2.2 million and 2.4 million vehicles on the roads.

The first toll-free period is to begin at 11pm on Wednesday and end at 6am on Thursday, with the final one starting on 11pm on Saturday and lasting until 6am on Sunday.

The bureau said it expected daily traffic volume to decline after the first day of the holiday, dropping from about 2.2 million on Friday to 2.1 million on Saturday and then to 1.9 million on Sunday.

The bureau will also set high occupancy vehicle (HOV) hours on the weekend to regulate northbound traffic on Freeway No. 5.

The HOV hours will last from 3pm to 8pm and apply to all northbound ramps between Yilan County’s Suao (蘇澳) and Toucheng (頭城) townships, the bureau said.

During HOV hours, drivers of small vehicles are required to carry at least two other passengers on Freeway No. 5. On other freeways more road shoulders will be opened to ease traffic, it added.