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Migrant workers not returning home for Spring Festival

(People's Daily Online)

08:18, January 22, 2013


Although the annual Spring Festival travel rush is still several days away, it is already extremely difficult to buy a train ticket.

Hard to buy train tickets

Most people lining at a train ticket outlet in Beijing on Jan. 17 were disappointed because the tickets they wanted had been sold out.

China’s only online train ticket-purchasing platform,, is also disappointing.

A micro-blogger complained that bullet train tickets were sold out online in just one minute after ticket sales opened at 11 a.m.

Giving up given great difficulty in buying tickets

A cleaning lady from Anqing, Anhui province said that she had never had the chance to return home during the Spring Festival since she started working in Beijing more than 10 years ago.

“It is mainly because of the great difficulty in buying tickets. In addition, I do not have time. My annual leave is only five days,” she said.

A young man from Henan province said he would not return to his hometown for the Spring Festival this year. “I will go home at some other time to avoid the travel rush.”

Another young man from Fuyang, Anhui province who engages in waste collection said that he has more work to do during the Spring Festival, and will not go home.

“I have bought a bus ticket back home for my wife. It is difficult to buy a train ticket, so I bought a bus ticket. In fact, the bus ticket is more expensive, and it is safer to travel by train, but I have no choice,” he said.

A migrant worker at a construction site of Beijing was an exception. "One of my friends helped me buy a ticket on the Internet so I can go home to celebrate the Spring Festival," he said.

The migrant worker added that he was busy to work every day and did not have time to buy a ticket in the railway station or a ticket agent. Besides, it needs an online banking account to buy a ticket on the Internet. "I have not a banking account on the Internet and I also do not know how to buy a ticket online, so I asked my friend for help."

Read the Chinese version: 春运火车票开始吃紧 众多农民工选择不回家

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