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Taipei City promotes free shuttle bus service during Tomb Sweeping Festival

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei City Transportation Office (臺北市公共運輸處) held a press conference yesterday to promote a three-weekend and five-route free shuttle bus service for the convenience of Taipei City residents during the Tomb Sweeping Festival (清明節).

To provide residents of Taipei with a convenient and safe pilgrimage to pay their respects and honor their lost family members, the Taipei City Government will provide free shuttle buses on March 22, 23, 29 and 30, as well as from April 4 to April 6, with the following five routes: the Muzha Line, the Nangang Line, the Chungde Line, the Military Cemetery Line and the Yangmingshan Line.

The general public is encouraged to commute using the MRT and then transfer to the free shuttles, which will go on a direct route from a respective MRT station to the Taipei Nangang Military Cemetery, the Yangmingshan Pagoda as well as the Fude Cemetery and Pagoda.

Buses will depart every three to five minutes during rush hour, with the final shuttle scheduled to depart from cemeteries and pagodas at 5:30 p.m. The city government has also launched a new service this year, establishing service centers at the three memorial destinations that will provide childcare and refreshments for tomb sweepers.

Environmental Protection Department Encourages Green Tomb Sweeping

During the Tomb Sweeping Festival, the Department of Environmental Protection (臺北市政府環境保護局) of the Taipei City Government encourages tomb sweepers to decrease their use of incense, joss sticks and candles, and to avidly participate in the “Normalization of Concentrated Paper Money Burning Program” (集中焚燒金銀紙錢常態化) by burning sacrificial money in incineration plants. Since military and most private cemeteries have restricted practices that are damaging to the air environment, trucks will be deployed only at the Yangmingshan Pagoda as well as the Fude Cemetery and Pagoda to transport the ceremonial papers to a plant.

The amount of paper money disposed of in an incineration plant in Taipei City has risen from 781 tons in 2007 to 1,296 tons in 2013, which is calculated to have saved over 573 tons of air pollutants from being released into the atmosphere during the eight years of the program's existence. Not only is burning paper money in incineration plants more environmental in terms of air quality, it also provides a plant with the opportunity to be more self-sufficient and to generate electricity for the rest of the population to use.

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