Long way home for East Coast residents
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Insufficient transportation resources needed to facilitate the commute between the East Coast and other regions of Taiwan has resulted in the nightmares for many East Coast residents, many of whom must fight for train tickets during peak travel times every year.
January 23, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The official launch of reservations for East Coast tickets yesterday caused network congestion on the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) website in the first 20 minutes and tickets for peak travel times during Chinese New Year holiday were sold out.
Trains are the primary means of travel to the East Coast and there are not enough scheduled trains to transport passengers, especially during holidays.
Even though the TRA purchased 16 new tilting train cars called Puyuma (普悠瑪號) last year, this has proven insufficient for the large numbers of travelers during the busy holiday season.
The existing Suhua Highway, the only highway connecting the East Coast with North Taiwan, tends to sustain seasonal damage from typhoons and heavy rains.
During holidays or Chinese New Year, portions of the highways will experience heavy congestion, causing considerable inconvenience to tourists and local residents.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said that the ministry has already budgeted NT$200 billion to improve the traffic in Hualien and Taitung since 2008, and there will be more construction taking place before 2017.