“Taiwan Lantern Festival”, an international celebration event that has made its reputation on the international stage, has been co-hosted annually by the Tourism Bureau, MOTC and local City/County Governments. The Festival approximately attracts ten million tourists each year, making traffic dispersion one of the crucial points to a successful exhibition. This year, the 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival is co-hosted by Tourism Bureau and Taichung City Government and the Main Theme Lantern Exhibition is located in HSR Wuri Station District. The official opening of the Festival was scheduled on Mar. 5 and ending on Mar. 15 with duration of 12 exhibition days. The Festival was also including Taichung Park and Fengyuan Lantern Exhibition areas, summing up to 13.75 million visitors throughout the entire exhibition period.
Transportation to the exhibition sites includes individual automobiles (estimated 35% of total visitors) and public transportation: Taiwan Railways (27%), Taiwan High Speed Rail (12%) and bus (21%). In response to the celebration, BOHSR and THSRC have be cooperating with Taichung City Government since April 2014 on station property rents, traffic dispersion routes, etc. Due to traffic limitations such as inconvenient connections between freeways and railway transport, THSRC has held multiple meetings on measures of dispersing regular passenger flow and the additional crowd from the Taiwan Lantern Festival. They came up with traffic control measures including: 1. Total passenger count control inside the HSR station and necessary control at exits/entrances; 2. Divergence control of Taiwan Railways and HSR passengers before entering the station; and 3. Dispatching additional non-reserved trains to disperse passengers.
Taking experience from former lantern festivals including 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Hsinchu and 2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Nantou, THSRC will efficiently distribute manpower, utilize resources and guidance signage, hold HSR passenger propagandas, and establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). BOHSR plays a coordinating part in the traffic control matter and will send staff into the EOC during exhibition period to handle emergency incidents and cooperate with THSRC to successfully disperse passengers during the 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival exhibition period.