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Highway traffic likely to spike during festival

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Motorized trips for the first day of the three-day Dragon Boat Festival are expected to reach 2.6 million due to the nice weather, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.

The MOTC said that drivers should consider using the toll-free period, which will be from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

According to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), starting from the first day of the Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, the front that has been causing rainfall recently will move toward the north, so weather will be more stable during the holidays.

The CWB said that the weather in most areas will be either cloudy or sunny, and the highest temperature will reach 34 degrees Celsius during the holiday.

The National Freeway Bureau (NFB) said that due to the nice weather, many people may plan to travel during the holidays.

According to the NFB, trips for the first day of the festival will number between 2.4 million and 2.6 million. The second day of the festival is expected to bring out 2.2 million to 2.4 million travelers.

As for the last day of the Dragon Boat Festival, the NFB said that motorized trips will number around 2.1 million to 2.3 million.

According to the NFB, the 20 kilometers of free highway usage will be canceled during the holidays. However, drivers traveling from Hsinchu (新竹) to Yanchao (燕巢) on National Highway No. 3 will receive a 20-percent discount on the highway toll.

The NFB said that the freeway toll will be set at a flat rate during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday this year to avoid traffic jams.

There will be high occupancy control on National Highway No. 5, both north- and southbound, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. on May 31, and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 1 and 2, the NFB said. This means that each vehicle will have to carry at least three people to be able to access the highway.

Protesters Rush into MOTC Hall to Support Ex-Toll Collectors

Protesters who support the former freeway toll fee collectors rushed into the MOTC hall yesterday to fight for the group's labor rights.

A youth forum about the airline industry was held yesterday at the MOTC hall, and China Airlines Chairman Sun Hong-shiang (孫洪祥), Eva Air (長榮航空) Chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) and Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) all attended the forum.

Four protestors rushed into the forum and yelled out, “The country should find places for former freeway toll collectors,” while Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA, 民航局) Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) was delivering a speech.

At the same time, nearly 40 protestors from the self-help organization of the former freeway toll collectors stood in front of the MOTC hall, raising signs to demand the help of the nation.

Yeh said that all the people who support the former freeway toll collectors should be rational, adding that he respects toll collectors' right to protest.

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Protesters are carried out of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) hall by security in Taipei, yesterday. Four protesters rushed into the forum and yelled, “The country should find places for former freeway toll collectors,” while Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA, 民航局) Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) was delivering a speech. (CNA)

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