The Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday unveiled plans to facilitate transportation to the east coast on New Year’s Eve, as people are expected to flock to Taitung County to attend Taiwanese pop diva A-mei’s (阿妹) New Year’s Eve concert.
This is the first time that ministry and local government officials have worked together to stipulate transportation plans for a pop music concert.
“Compared with the counties on the west coast, Taitung has a less developed public transport system. As a large number of visitors are expected to attend A-mei’s New Year’s Eve concert, we have worked with the Taitung County Government to carefully arrange transportation to and from the event, and regulate traffic around the venue,” the ministry said.
Photo: Chang Tsung-chiu, Taipei Times
Visitors are encouraged to access the concert through the public transport system and wear masks throughout the concert to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it added.
As the county government has estimated that 15,292 people would enter the county on New Year’s Eve through the railway system, the Taiwan Railways Administration would add three express train services from Taipei and one train service from Kaoshiung to facilitate transportation, in addition to the 26 train services that are already on the timetable.
To transport homebound passengers after the concert, the railway operator has arranged one train service from Taitung to Hualien County’s Yuli Township (玉里) that would depart at 2:30am on Jan. 1, and another that would leave from Taitung for the county’s Dawu Township (大武) at 2:20am.
For those planning to leave Taitung the following morning, a train service is to depart for Taipei’s Shulin District (樹林) at 6:15am and another would leave for Xinzuoying (新左營) at 6:48am.
To celebrate the electrification of the South Link Line and encourage people to use the public transport system, passengers boarding trains on the line would be given a 50 percent discount on the ticket price, the ministry said, adding that the policy applies to adults and children.
Meanwhile, Taitung city bus services would be offered every 30 minutes during peak hours, the ministry said, adding that more bus services would be provided between the Taitung Bus Station and the Taitung Railway Station, Taitung Airport and Jhihben National Forest Recreation Area.
A temporary shuttle bus service between Kaohsiung and Taitung would be offered during the New Year holiday as well, it said.
People traveling to Taitung by bus can use their tickets to rent a car or a motorcycle in the county to receive rebates of NT$200 and NT$50 respectively, the ministry said.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration has asked airlines to offer 16 additional flights between Taipei and Taitung, it said, adding that carriers would use bigger aircraft.
People planning to drive to Taitung are encouraged to take the Suhua Highway (Highway No. 9) and Highway No. 11b to avoid congestion on Highway No. 11, the ministry said.
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