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Taipei-Kaohsiung in 6 hours for Tomb Sweeping: MOTC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The travel time between Taipei and Kaohsiung through highways is set to be six hours for the upcoming Tomb Sweeping holidays, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.

According to the MOTC, during the three-day-long Tomb Sweeping holidays, the amount of traffic hitting highways is estimated to be between 2.5 million to 2.7 million vehicles on April 4 and April 5, respectively.

The National Freeway Bureau (NFB, 高公局) said that the peak time for traffic jams could be this Friday and Saturday morning.

Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said that even though the travel time between Taipei and Kaohsiung is targeted to be six hours, there could still be traffic jams on highways during the holidays.

The NFB said that the first wave of greater traffic flow will begin to emerge on Thursday afternoon, and that the traffic flow is expected to slow down after 10 p.m.

According to the NFB, drivers can hit the roads during the free-of-charge evening period if they intend to avoid the higher volume of traffic.

No Free Mileage during Holidays

The NFB said that the toll-free period will be from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day during the entire Tomb Sweeping holidays this year.

According to the NFB, the free 20 kilometers offered for highway users each day will also be cancelled during the holidays, and the highway rates will be NT$0.9 each kilometer for small vehicles.

Drivers traveling from Hsinchu (新竹) to Yanchao (燕巢) on National Highway No. 3, according to the NFB, will receive a 20-percent discount on the highway fares.

The NFB also said that there will be high occupancy control on National Highway No. 5 on both the north- and southbound highways during the holidays, which means that each vehicle will have to carry at least three people to be able to enter highways.

Good Weather for Tomb Sweeping Day

The weather during the holidays will be suitable for tomb sweeping, but there might be isolated showers in the northern and eastern parts of Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.

According to the CWB, the weather for the three holidays will be good for tomb sweeping in the central and southern parts of Taiwan, and Sunday's weather will be the best choice for people in the northern and eastern parts of Taiwan to go tomb sweeping.

The CWB said that due to the effect of the northeast monsoon, the temperature will be lower during the morning and evening time in the central and northern parts of Taiwan throughout the holidays.

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