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Holiday road travel favored due to free-pass policy


10:34, February 18, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Trips made by passenger vehicles nearly doubled during the Spring Festival holiday compared with the same period last year, boosted by the toll-free policy, the country's transportation authorities said on Sunday.

Highway traffic flows of passenger cars in provinces, excluding Hainan and Tibet, increased 98.6 percent year on year to 114.99 million during the seven-day holiday ending on Friday, the Ministry of Transport said.

The figure accounted for 92.1 percent of the total traffic flow in the country's road network.

The sharp increase was mainly attributed to the toll-free program that exempted cars with seven or fewer seats from highway charges during the holiday period.

The program has saved 3.93 billion yuan (625.81 million U.S. dollars) for road travelers, the ministry said.

China's current highway toll system costs drivers roughly 0.4 yuan per kilometer, which means a journey from Beijing to Shanghai will cost around 500 yuan in highway fees.

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