The 2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival was held in Chiayi County. The Lantern Exhibition extended from the front square of the Chiayi County Government to the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum. The exhibition covered an area of more than 50 hectares. This year's main feature is an all-round display of “water, land, and air”, combining tourism, technology, culture and art. The county government promised to demonstrate the new value and innovation energy of Chiayi County. In the face of important national celebrations, public transportation services play a very important role. THSRC has upheld past traffic dispersing experience for lantern festivals to deliberate the dispersing measures under the premise of maintaining HSR passenger service quality and fast evacuation of the crowd. With the provision of land for the prefectural government, a temporary parking lot was set up. Other transfer facilities such parking lots, bus transfer hubs and the taxi waiting area remain in its original places which greatly reduced the impact of HSR passengers. As for crowd control, “single direction passenger flow” and “total passenger dispersing” measures are carried out inside and outside the station. According to the passenger waiting situations at the platform, concourse, lobby, etc., the dispersing measures are distinguished into three stages in order to maintain operational safety and transport efficiency. In addition to distributing manpower, utilizing resources and guidance signage, holding HSR passenger propagandas, and establishing an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), THSRC mobilized all personnel to successfully disperse passengers during the 2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival exhibition period.
This year’s lantern festival was held from Feb. 16 to Mar. 11, 2018. The festival happened to clash with the Lunar New Year traffic dispersing period. During the period of “Sneak Peek to the Lantern Festival” from Feb. 16 to 21, THSRC dispatched 656 trains that stopped at Chiayi Station. In addition, a total of 120 additional trains (36 southbound and 84 northbound) departed from Chiayi Station during this period for the purpose of traffic dispersing. Then from Feb. 22 to Mar. 11, the main period of the exhibition, 31 additional trains (15 southbound and 16 northbound) were dispatched at Chiayi Station with 42 preparatory additional trains ready for dispatch according to actual passenger loading in order to fulfill all traffic dispersing needs during the lantern festival.