Feature: Spring Festival travel rush guidance with warmth, skill

(Xinhua) 16:19, February 02, 2024

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Tao Zhiting, 33, who is wheeling an elderly person and shouldering luggage, is not just another traveler amid the Spring Festival travel rush at Beijing Chaoyang Railway Station -- she is a heartwarming and skilled rail ambassador.

With the Chinese Lunar New Year approaching, the flow of passengers is soaring. Tao, who works tirelessly to escort over 20 travelers daily, knows well that the busiest time of the year has arrived.

"There's a speed bump ahead and it might be a bit bumpy," said Tao to an elderly passenger. "Hold onto the handrails and stay safe on the road, and feel free to reach out if you need anything," she added. As the elderly person boarded the train, there was a wave goodbye and an expression of gratitude.

Having to take nearly 30,000 steps each day, Tao is so busy that even a sip of water is a luxury. It is estimated that during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush that kicked off on Jan. 26, China Railway Beijing Group Co., Ltd. where Tao works is expected to handle 39.13 million passenger trips, an increase of 14.1 percent compared to 2019.

Since starting her job in 2010, Tao has offered personalized assistance to passengers with special needs including the elderly, disabled, and pregnant women at both Beijing Railway Station and Beijing Chaoyang Station, helping such passengers during entry, exit, and boarding processes.

Beijing Chaoyang Station is equipped with sofas, an entertainment area for children, a row of wheelchairs, and beds for passengers who cannot sit or stand comfortably.

At intervals, Tao approaches waiting passengers, inquiring about their needs and reassuring them that ticket inspection is imminent. If she notices any passengers feeling unwell, she assists them in reaching a bed to rest, while also regularly checking on their well-being. In addition, Tao helps to reunite lost children with their parents.

To enhance services for passengers with diverse needs, Tao continues to make efforts to improve her English skills, self-learn sign language, acquire life-saving skills like CPR, and learn psychological counseling techniques.

Tao also crafts cards containing train details, schedules, and ticket gate information, complemented by hand-drawn station maps. During her spare time, she reviews and memorizes these cards, and explores transportation connections around the station.

Based on over a decade of work experience, Tao has innovated a unique "seamless connection" service approach, smoothly assisting passengers from outside to inside the station, from entry to waiting, from the station to the train, and from the starting station to the destination.

Such consistent and determined efforts have left a lasting impression on many passengers. Tao recalled that when assisting an elderly passenger in a wheelchair to exit the station in late January, she was concerned about the cold, and helped him put on a hat and tighten the zipper of his down jacket before helping him into the wheelchair.

The heartwarming gesture prompted the elderly man to express his appreciation, saying "I still remember many years ago at Beijing Railway Station, there was a girl surnamed Tao who helped me..."

"Sir, do you remember me?" Tao removed her mask and inquired in reply. The elderly man, pleasantly surprised, responded, "What a delightful surprise! Let's get together before the Spring Festival. Come to my home, and my wife will prepare a meal for you."

"I never expected that after so many years, the elderly man would still remember me," Tao said.

For over a decade, she has been on the front line during the Spring Festival travel rush, with little time to spare for her own family, but Tao said she has come to understand that as long as her family is together, the New Year can be celebrated at any moment.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


Related Stories