Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Transportation authorities announced Tuesday traffic controls on the nation's freeways for the New Year holiday weekend, including an extension of toll-free hours on the closing day of the holiday for the first time, in anticipation of traffic spikes.
Traffic control measures will be in place Dec. 29.- Jan. 1, with tolls suspended between 12 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the first three days, according to the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.
On New Year's Day, toll-free hours will continue until 10 a.m. to offer incentives for motorists to return home earlier as traffic jams often start to clog freeways from early afternoon, the bureau said.
On the other hand, the extension will also improve travel safety because those who wish to return home right after the countdown can postpone their trip and set off in the morning instead, it said.
A unified rate of NT$0.9 (US$0.03) per kilometer will be adopted at other times during the holiday period, a 25 percent discount from the standard rate.
Motorists traveling between the Hsinchu (??) and Yanchao (??) interchanges on National Freeway No. 3 will receive an additional 20 percent off.
However, the standard toll-free first 20km of travel on all freeways will be suspended during the holiday, the bureau said.
Between 7 a.m. and noon on Dec. 29, only vehicles with three or more occupants will be allowed to enter southbound lanes between Neihu (??) and Toufen (??) on No. 1 freeway, as well as southbound lanes between Mucha (??) and Xiangshan (??) on No. 3 freeway.
The same rules will apply to southbound lanes on No. 5 freeway between Nangang (??) onramp in Taipei and Pinglin (??) onramp in New Taipei, from 7 a.m. to noon Dec. 29-30.
Vehicle occupancy controls will be in place from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 31- Jan. 1 between northbound onramps on No. 5 freeway in Su'ao (??) and Toucheng (??) in Yilan County, the bureau said.
Those looking for real-time traffic updates can go to http://1968.freeway.gov.tw/?lang=en or download the mobile app available at http://1968.freeway.gov.tw/app.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channels