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Freeway Bureau announces Tomb Sweeping rates

TAIPEI--Freeway tolls across Taiwan will be lifted between midnight and 5 a.m. on April 4-6 to encourage motorists to travel at off-peak hours during the long weekend for Tomb Sweeping Day.

The National Freeway Bureau explained yesterday that in addition to the toll-free hours, daytime fares over the three-day weekend will be set at a flat rate of NT$0.9 (US$0.03) per kilometer, a 25 percent discount from the regular rate.

But the regular allowance of 20 kilometers of toll-free will be suspended during the holiday, the bureau said.

An additional 20-percent discount will be offered on the No. 3 freeway between Hsinchu in the north and Kaohsiung's Yanchao District in the south to encourage use of the less popular route and avoid congestion.

Meanwhile, parts of the No. 5 freeway that links Taipei and Yilan will be open only to vehicles with two or more passengers during the holiday period.

Between 7 a.m. and noon April 4-5, only high occupancy vehicles will be allowed to enter southbound lanes from the Nangang onramp in Taipei and the Shiding and Pinglin onramps in New Taipei.

The same rules will be applied for northbound lanes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 5-6 at onramps in Suao, Luodong, Yilan City and Toucheng in Yilan County.

The National Freeway Bureau estimated that 2.5 million-2.7 million vehicles will travel on the freeways on the first two days of the long weekend, with 2.2 million-2.4 million expected on the last day.

Drivers can access a color-coded map of current traffic conditions at any time at http://1968.freeway.gov.tw.

An estimated 2.5 million-2.7 million vehicles will travel on the freeways in the first two days of the holiday, while the third day could see 2.2 million to 2.4 million cars, the bureau said.

The new fare system that replaced toll booths last December charges motorists based on distance traveled, with automated scanners checking each vehicle's Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) tag as it enters and exits the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 freeways.

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