Highways toll free during Moon Festival
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- There will be no charge for highway use from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during this year's Moon Festival holiday from Sept. 19 and Sept. 22, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.
August 30, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The MOTC yesterday approved a traffic easing plan for this year's four-day Moon Festival holiday, an official of the MOTC said, noting that it is the first time the ministry has adjusted the free-of-charge period from the previous 12 a.m.-7 a.m. to 11 p.m.-6 a.m.
The MOTC said that based on previous car flow data from the past few years for the Moon Festival holiday period, the ministry learnt that a large number of cars drive on the highway system between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
The National Freeway Bureau (NFB) of the MOTC said it expects the four-day holiday will see a daily car flow of 1.8 million to 2.4 million, noting that the first day of the holidays will possibly have 2.2 million to 2.4 million.
In the interests of ameliorating traffic issues, the NFB advised people to take National Highway Number 3 if traveling for long hours and National Highway Number 1 if commuting between Kaohsiung and Taichung or Taipei and Taichung.
In order to ease traffic and balance car flows between peak and off-peak periods, the MOTC decided to begin the free-of-charge period one hour earlier than in the past.
The free-toll period however remains seven hours, the MOTC said.
Apart from a varied free-toll policy during the Moon Festival holiday, the MOTC said there will also be high-occupancy vehicle control taking effect between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22. The high-occupancy regulations will be implemented on the northbound lanes of Suao (蘇澳) to Toucheng (頭城) of National Highway Number 5, the MOTC said.
The NFB said the bureau will monitor traffic during the holidays to open certain road shoulders for people to drive along.
The NFB said the traffic in Taoyuan area has improved after the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass (五楊高架) opened, noting however that traffic on the sections between Taichung and Changhua on National Freeway Number 1 are still jammed during peak hours.