Millions on move as China's Spring Festival travel season begins

14:37, January 30, 2010      

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Passengers wait for trains at the West Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 30, 2010. China's railways are expected to transport 210 million passengers during the 40-day travel peak starting from Jan. 30, as people return home for family reunion in the traditional Spring Festival beginning from Feb. 14 this year and then go back to workplaces. (Xinhua/Gong Lei)

China on Saturday began its annual mass passenger transportation for the traditional Lunar New Year, with an expected 2.54 billion journeys in the coming 40 days.

The figure is 7.7 percent up from the corresponding period last year, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Passengers would make 2.27 billion journeys by bus, up 7.5 percent year on year, and 32 million journeys by ship, up 3.6 percent, said He Jianzhong, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Transport.

A total of 820,000 buses and 20,000 ships would be in services during the travel season and additional buses would be arranged to meet demand following changes of passenger flow, He said.

The railways are expected to transport 210 million passengers, up 9.5 percent year on year, or 5.25 million passengers per day, according to the Ministry of Railways.

About 28.94 million passengers are expected to travel by plane, up 12.5 percent year on year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.

China's Spring Festival travel season this year started from Jan. 30 and will end on March 10.

Spring Festival is the most important Chinese festival for family reunion. People return home from work or study to have a reunion dinner with families on the New Year's Eve.

The travel season, or Chunyun (spring transportation), is an annual test on China's transportation systems.

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