Travel tips for getting home this Lunar New Year

By Christine Chou, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — With the Lunar New Year holidays approaching, we’ve put together some travel tips for getting home in time for the festivities. The shorter six-day holiday is expected to bring greater congestion compared to previous years, with traffic tipped to be at its worst on Friday Jan. 27, Saturday Jan. 28, Sunday Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. Road On Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, there will be an all-day restriction on cars driving on the southward lane of Pingzhen (平鎮) Interchange on National Freeway No. 1.

On the following Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, the northward lane of the Puyan (埔鹽) Interchange on National Freeway No. 1, the northward lane of Zhunan (竹南) Interchange and both lanes of the Minjian (民間) Interchange on National Freeway No. 3 will be closed the whole day. To ease the expected heavy traffic, tolls on national highways will be lifted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning between Friday and Feb. 1. Rail The Transportation Ministry said that a planned railway workers’ strike would not affect rail services during the holiday period. The railways are expected to carry 710,000 passengers per day over the holidays. You can grab an express train ticket from Taipei to Yilan for only NT$100, with 30 percent off tickets for “red-eye” trains from Taipei to Hualien or Taitung.

With the government offering deals in a bid to encourage the use of public transport, readers are advised to keep an eye out for fare reductions for late-night trains.

Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR, 高鐵) has added 392 trains to its usual service over the holiday. With the added services, the THSR will be running a total of 150 to 200 trains per day. Bus Passengers riding on all buses that operate on routes which cover national highways for more than 100 kilometers can enjoy a 15 percent discount. Officials urged those commuters wishing to use public transport to make use of the “Highway 1968” (高速公路1968) app, to find the latest traffic updates and recommended routes. They said data offered on the app this year is more precise than ever thanks to a new electronic toll collection technology. Another mobile app, “iBus,” is recommended for searching national and regional bus arrival times.