The four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is here. On Friday, the Taipei Bus Station was already packed with travelers hoping to beat the traffic. The Freeway Bureau says congestion is likely to start on the number 1, 3 and 5 freeways as early as Friday evening.

It’s early in the morning at the bus terminal, and it’s packed with people going home for Mid-Autumn Festival. These passengers got their tickets early.

Local

You had to have booked your ticket in advance. If you hadn’t, you’d come and find that most tickets here are already sold out.

Towing luggage big and small, passengers are ready for a holiday or a trip home. Long lines await buses bound for Taichung, Chiayi, and Nantou. One coach operator says that all peak-hour trips on popular routes are more than 90% booked.

Chien Yu-cheng

Kuo-kuang Motor Transportation

This year the difference between Mid-Autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival is night and day. Basically all the peak-hour trips are fully booked.

There’s hot demand for bus tickets, and for seats on the train and high-speed rail, too. The Taiwan Railways Administration will add 137 services over the Mid-Autumn Festival travel period, or a total of 396 extra cars. Peak-hour trips from Taipei to the East Coast and Taipei to Kaohsiung have already sold out. As for the high-speed rail, it’s already sold 522,000 tickets for the holiday period. The HSR will open an additional 184 services, increasing daily capacity by 41% compared to weekdays. If you’re planning to drive, watch out for traffic on freeways 1, 3, and 5 as early as Friday evening.

Chang Keng-chung

Freeway Bureau personnel

On National Freeway No. 5, we project an increase to traffic flow, starting from 9 or 10. Around the evening, people will be getting off work and there will be eastbound traffic. Because of that, we expect there to be congestion that continues late into the night.

Over the holiday, freeways will be toll-free from midnight to 5 a.m. between Sept. 18 and Sept. 20, and from midnight to 10 a.m. on Sept. 21. Drivers are advised to hit the road during toll-free periods, to avoid getting stuck in traffic.