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China expects 2.5bn passenger trips during Spring Festival

27 January 2010
The deputy director of the State Development and Planning Commission, Liu Tienan, said that China’s transport network is expected to handle 2.5bn passenger journeys during the 40-day Spring Festival season that starts on 30 January, up 7.7 per cent year-on-year. The road network will bear the brunt of the massive traffic volume. People using the roads are expected to make 2,270m journeys, while the rail system will cope with 210m passenger trips. Nearly 30m passenger trips are expected to be made by air, with 32m by waterways.

The Spring Festival, starting 14 February, is the biggest family reunion event of the Chinese year. Migrant workers travel back to their homes in the interior from their jobs on the coast before the festival and make the return journey after it, thereby putting huge stress on the national transport system. This year, universities have broken up earlier than usual, allowing most of them to travel back home before the transport crush starts. This should help to relieve the pressure slightly. The Ministry of Railways is also trying out a new ticketing system – involving the printing of names and ID card numbers on tickets – to crack down on ticket touts.
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