Taipei to extend New Year bus service, curb traffic


TAIPEI–Traffic controls will be imposed tonight in Taipei’s Xinyi District, where the city will hold its annual New Year’s Eve countdown party and Taipei 101 fireworks extravaganza, the city government said yesterday.

Taipei police said the traffic controls will be put in place in three stages from Monday at 7 p.m. to Tuesday at 3 a.m. to prevent traffic gridlock.

During the first stage from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the traffic control zone will cover an area roughly bordered by but not including Zhongxiao East Rd. to the north, Songren Rd. to the east, Xinyi Rd. to the south and Keelung Rd. to the west.

Only a small section of Keelung Rd. will be closed to traffic. Vehicles will be allowed to leave but not enter the controlled zone.

During the second stage between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the traffic control zone will expand west toward Guangfu S. Rd. and include Yixian Rd. and a section of Renai Rd.

In the third stage between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Tuesday, the entire Xinyi District, including Songren Rd. and sections of Zhongxiao East Rd. and Xinyi Rd., will be shut down to traffic.

During the second and third stages, vehicles will not be allowed to either enter or leave the controlled zones.

MRT lines will run around the clock from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 to help get New Year’s Eve revelers home, Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation said.

The only exceptions are the Xiaobitan and Xinbeitou branch lines, will be open until Monday night at midnight.

Meanwhile, Taipei’s Department of Transportation said that a total of 87 bus lines will extend their service hours into the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, with the last buses expected to pass Xinyi District stops from 2 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.

An additional 160 shuttle buses will also take people from Xinyi District to specific points around the city, including the Taipei Railway Station, three MRT stations, and Muzha and Jingmei. The shuttles will operate from 12 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.