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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 15:56, February 05, 2007
First peak travel day witnesses orderly transportation
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In the first day of Spring Festival travel season from Feb. 3 to March 14 this year, transportation across China is in good order.

China's railway transport authorities calculated that 3.3 million passengers traveled by train, with the service of 383 temporary trains on Saturday, said Zhang Zhenli, an official with the Ministry of Railways who is in charge of the seasonal transport.

As this winter vacation for college students comes earlier than previous years, most of 9.6 million students have already returned home, which greatly alleviated transport strains, according to figures from the ministry.

Now that train ticket prices will not rise this year as they usually did during the Spring Festival, many people have delayed their travel plans, said Zhang.

For years China adopted the policy of raising ticket prices during the Spring Festival travel season to help ease travel peaks.

During the Spring Festival travel season last year, railway fares for ordinary hard seats increased 15 percent while those for other seats went up 20 percent. Many passengers had to leave before the start of the travel season to avoid price hikes.

"The queue only took me 20 minutes to buy train tickets," said a lady surnamed Qing, who bought 23 tickets for some migrant workers in Beijing ,who will return to Guangyuan in southwest Sichuan Province.

So far almost 60,000 migrant workers have booked rail tickets in groups from Beijing's railway stations, much more than previous year.

The Ministry of Communications expects the increase number of coach passengers to reach 115 million during the period.

Some 700,000 coaches, which can carry 280 million people more than last year, will be on the road during the travel season, the ministry said.

In the waiting hall of the Liuliqiao coach station in Beijing, some chairs were unoccupied on Saturday.

"Passengers here are still one third more than the previous days," said Su Jingfang, a cleaner working in the waiting hall.

Millions of Chinese, including migrant workers, college students and others working far away from their hometowns, rush home for a family reunion during Spring Festival each year, an important occasion for Chinese homes.

For years, the nation's transportation system has been strained in the festival season, as millions of migrant workers and other Chinese flock back home and then return to the work place in just two or three weeks.

Source: Xinhua

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