TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system saw 627,000 fewer passengers than the 3.2 million registered for the 2020 New Year countdown celebrations due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Taiwan recently registered the first domestic COVID-19 transmission in eight months and discovered two cases of the mutant strain from the United Kingdom. As a precaution, Taipei City Government went on to halve the maximum limit on attendees for its New Year’s Eve concert to 40,000.
Between Thursday (Dec. 31) 6 p.m. and Friday (Jan. 1) 6 a.m., 2.58 million MRT journeys were recorded, compared to 3.2 million a year ago, CNA reported. The steep decline was noticeable at the four MRT stations closest to the site of the concert and the Taipei 101 fireworks in fashionable Xinyi District. Before the event, the MRT operator had advised passengers to use stations further away to avoid overcrowding.
The reduced attendance figures also translated into less garbage for the city’s environmental services to clean up. The amount of non-recyclable trash was cut by more than half, falling from 8.1 tons at the previous New Year’s Eve countdown to 3.7 tons on this occasion.
Workers removed 2.6 tons of recyclable objects, a drop from the 6.3 tons registered the previous year, according to the CNA report. In total, the event saw 8.7 tons less in trash compared to New Year celebrations the previous year.