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NFB to start alternate rates trial on National Highway 5

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In order to reduce the traffic congestion that appears every holiday on Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Highway (National Highway 5) from Taipei to Su-au in Yilan, the National Freeway Bureau, (NFB, 高公局) plans to start a trial of charging more during peak hours starting from Aug. 16.

In fact, there has already been a high-occupancy check of the northbound section between Yilan and Taipei from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Sunday since July 2012. This regulation has been in force since September 2012.

Apart from the high-occupancy regulation rules, the NFB now plans to charge different rates in peak hours on Saturday as well as off-peak hours on Sunday to further lessen the volume of traffic on Highway 5. According to the NFB, the rate will be hiked on Saturday mornings from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. southbound and decreased again on Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. northbound.

By changing the rate in the peak hours and off-peak hours, the NFB hopes that it can help to improve the highway's congestion. To prevent the new regulation from being too complicated for citizens to understand, the NFB plans to increase the rate 50 percent in the peak hours and decrease it by 50 percent in the off-peak hours.

The NFB suggests that citizens use the discount hour in the off-peak time so that they can save not only time but also money when visiting Yilan on weekends. In addition, citizens may feel more comfortable when traveling free of traffic jams.

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