Multiple trains running along the east coast were delayed for as long as one hour, as waves of passengers showed up on the last day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday yesterday, said Taiwan Railways Administration.
While Taiwan Railways added more trains to ease the traffic, a surge of commuters slowed down the traffic as they got on and off trains. Also, added trains that were called into service also caused delay as they waited for one another.
A total of 59 new trains were added yesterday to cope with the passenger spike. Many of them were delayed for 10 to 20 minutes. Three were delayed for more than 50 minutes. They were train numbers 5247, 441 and 435.
A swarm of passengers were still waiting for their northbound trains inside and outside Hualien Station at 7 p.m.
A full refund is granted to those who booked express trains that are delayed for more than 45 minutes. The refund may be cashed within a year of purchase at railway ticket booths.
Freeway Congestion in Yilan
The nation's freeways also saw traffic jams yesterday. At 10 a.m., a line of cars blocked the entrance of Freeway No. 5's Toucheng Interchange. The area in Yilan marked one of the worst traffic scenes in the nation yesterday.
Average speed was pegged at 38 kilometers per hour at 10 a.m. on Freeway No. 5 between Toucheng and Pinglin. Vehicles were also piling up at Luodong and Suao interchanges in Yilan.
Northbound traffic began to pick up in Tainan in the afternoon, as locals moved outdoor to make the best use of the last day of the Tomb Sweeping holiday. Despite a short shower around noon, occasional sunshine can be seen in the afternoon. Traffic flow was reportedly smooth until evening.
High occupancy control was introduced on Freeway No. 5 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., meaning only vehicles with three or more passengers (including drivers) are allowed to be on the road.
Congestion was visible nearly all day near Freeway No. 1's Rende Interchange. Police officers were dispatched to the scene to help alleviate the traffic jam.
According to Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau, average car speed was around 80 kilometers per hour in Tainan.
Number of Vehicles Reached 2.3-2.6 Million
The National Freeway Bureau expected the traffic would peak between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and that the car flow would reach 2.3 to 2.6 million the whole day, which is 1.2 to 1.4 times higher than the annual average.
Road traffic was at its highest 2.73 million on Apr. 5, the actual Tomb Sweeping day, as local populations performed the traditional rituals and paid respect to their ancestors before noon on that day.