Less traffic expected during toll-free period on New Year holiday

Less traffic expected during toll-free period on New Year holiday

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) With the New Year holiday just around the corner, traveling on freeways during the toll-free period may be a better choice for those who want to save time in traffic, as less traffic is expected during that period, according to the National Freeway Bureau.

The bureau said the toll-free period for the country's freeways will be imposed over the three-day holiday that starts Friday. The toll-free period will begin at 11 p.m. the previous day and last for seven hours, it added. The first day of the long weekend holiday is expected to see the busiest traffic on the freeways, the bureau predicted, adding that it is expecting 2.4 million-2.6 million motorists per day on the freeways over the coming three days.

Taking New Year's Day as an example, it will take about 265 minutes to drive from Taipei in northern Taiwan to the southern city of Kaohsiung, if drivers hit the road between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., it said.

But for those traveling during the toll-free period, the traffic time could be reduced to about 210 minutes, according to the bureau.

The second day of the holiday period is expected to see lower traffic flow on the freeways along Taiwan's populous western corridor, it said.

Traffic on the freeways is expected to increase on the third and last day, the bureau said, with the heaviest traffic expected to occur between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. It will take about 285 minutes to drive from Kaohsiung to Taipei, compared with 210 minutes during the toll-free period.

Among the freeways, Freeway No. 5 that connects Taipei and the eastern county of Yilan is expected to see the heaviest traffic congestion during the period, the bureau said. Many people are expected to travel to eastern Taiwan to see the first dawn of 2016.

On New Year's Day, the rush hour on Freeway No. 5 is expected to last from 7 a.m.-9 a.m., the bureau said, adding that it will take about an hour to drive from Taipei to Yilan, where residents of the greater Taipei area love to visit on holidays because of its many scenic spots and relative proximity.

The traffic flow is forecast to increase between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday on the No.5 freeway, with traffic time from Yilan to Taipei estimated at 80 minutes, the bureau said.

The forecast traffic time is based on traffic statistics of previous years, and the estimates were made without the consideration of traffic accidents, it added. (By Wang Shu-fen and Elaine Hou)

Updated : 2021-03-03 05:12 GMT+08:00