New freeway traffic controls announced for Mid-Autumn Festival

Taipei, Sept. 7 (CNA) Transportation authorities announced Friday new traffic controls on Freeway No. 5 for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday weekend Sept. 22-24 in anticipation of traffic spikes.

The freeway connecting Taipei and Yilan, which often sees severe congestion during holidays, will be toll-free for the first time one day before and one day after the holiday period, said Jaw Shing-hau (???), director-general of the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.

The toll-free period will last between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sept. 21 and 25, Jaw said.

Existing holiday traffic controls will continue on all other freeways, including a unified rate of NT$0.9 (US$0.028) per kilometer during hours that are not toll-free, a 25 percent discount from the standard rate.

Motorists traveling between the Hsinchu and Yanchao interchanges on the No. 3 freeway will receive an additional 20 percent discount.

However, the standard toll-free first 20 km of travel on all freeways will be suspended during the holiday, the ministry said.

Between 7 a.m. and noon Sept. 22-23, only vehicles with three or more occupants will be allowed to enter Freeway No. 5's southbound lanes from the Nangang onramp in Taipei and the Shiding and Pinglin onramps in New Taipei, it noted.

During the same period, motorists entering the No. 1 freeway's southbound lanes between Neihu and Toufen, as well as the No. 3 freeway's southbound lanes between Mucha and Xiangshan will also have high-occupancy vehicle controls.

The same rules will be applied to the No. 5 freeway's northbound lanes from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 23-24 on the northbound onramps in Su'ao, Luodong, Yilan City and Toucheng in Yilan County, it said.

Those looking for real-time traffic conditions can go to http://1968.freeway.gov.tw/?lang=en or download the mobile application available at http://1968.freeway.gov.tw/app.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel