China gears up for Lunar New Year travel rush

PTI Beijing | Updated on January 27, 2013 Published on January 27, 2013

The world’s biggest annual human migration will take place in China shortly with majority of over 1.3 billion people set to travel before next month’s Chinese Lunar New Year.

Railways geared up to handle an estimated 5.2 million daily trips over the next 40 days’ peak travel season, Zhao Chunlei, an official with the Ministry of Railways said. A record 3.41 billion trips are expected to be made over this year’s Lunar New Year travel rush, as Chinese who have worked away from home see the holiday as the most important occasion for family reunion.

The country’s rail network is expected to handle 225 million trips, while long—distance buses will see up to 3.1 billion passengers, which combine to account for 99 per cent of the overall national capacity, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

Chinese have traditionally favoured road and rail transportation, whose fares are cheaper, for their home tours.

With nearly 300 million migrant workers would move out to their villages before the holidays start on February 10 and return back towards the middle of March.

Chinese officials said this year’s holiday travel rush will place the country’s transport network under great pressures despite the opening of several high-speed rail lines including the world’s longest linking Beijing and Guangzhou.

The Ministry of Railways has thoroughly checked the newly introduced trains and made emergency-response plans to guarantee rail safety, Zhao Chunlei told state run Xinhua news agency.

The road and shipping networks have also geared up to cope with booming passenger numbers, said He Jianzhong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport.

He said that 840,000 coaches will participate in the nationwide transportation and 13,000 ships have also been arranged to carry up to 700,000 per day.

China’s airlines adopted a similar approach by increasing the combined transport capacity to handle 35.5 million journeys, up 4.9 per cent from the same period last year.

Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, falls on February 10 this year, making the holiday travel period spanning from January 26 to March 6.

Published on January 27, 2013
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor