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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Cities see surge of returning workers

By Xu Wei and Li Wenfang (China Daily)

08:02, January 30, 2012

Hundreds of passengers wait to enter the subway as they leave Beijing Railway Station on Sunday. The transport network is facing peak demand as workers return from Spring Festival holidays. (Photo by Zou Hong / China Daily)

BEIJING / GUANGZHOU - The week-long Spring Festival holiday ended with another travel peak as millions of travelers returned from family visits to work, raising pressure on railroads and highways.

Railway authorities said on Sunday that more than 6.6 million individual train trips were recorded across the nation on Saturday, the last day of the holiday. The authority put 815 more trains into service to meet the increase in travel demand.

The Spring Festival, regarded by Chinese as a traditional occasion for family reunions, fell on Jan 23 this year. The holiday lasted from Jan 22, the eve of the Lunar New Year, to Jan 28.

To ease the growing pressure at railway terminals, the Beijing Railway Station activated two temporary terminals on Saturday to ensure passengers' quick exit from the station.

Yu Xuejin, an official from the publicity office of the station, estimated that this second travel peak, mainly composed of office workers returning from family visits, would only last for one or two days.

The travel peak for other types of passengers would come later.

"The travel peak of migrant workers will mostly arrive after the Lantern Festival", which falls on Feb 6 this year, Yu said. "College students will mostly arrive after February 10 when the new semester begins."

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