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2.8 billion trips expected during spring festival in China

Updated: Jan 30,2015 9:07 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — A total of 2.807 billion trips are expected to be made by Chinese people during the Spring Festival travel rush, according to the Ministry of Transport on Jan 29.

The number, which excludes trips through public buses and taxi, is 3.4 percent higher than the previous year, said Xu Chengguang, spokesman of the ministry.

The 40-day travel frenzy is known as “Chunyun”, the hectic period surrounding Chinese New Year which falls this year on Feb 19. Chunyun began on Feb 4 and will last until March 16.

Several new high-speed railways have been built and put into operation in 2014 that will further help reduce crowds during the travel rush, Xu said.

China Railway Corporation earlier this month had announced plans to run more trains to cope with the travel rush.

Chinese New Year celebrations, known as Spring Festival, are China’s most important family holiday, with hundreds of millions of people heading to their hometowns to meet with relatives and old friends, putting huge stress on transportation system.

Chinese people have never been more affluent and keen to travel, nor have there ever been more migrant workers in cities far from home. Every year, stress on the transportation system becomes greater and greater, despite great improvements in infrastructure over the last few years.

The transport networks — road, rail, aviation and waterways — have set new highs for “Chunyun” numbers almost every year in the past decade.

Railways are expected to see a rise of 10 percent in passenger trips year-on-year, a greater rise than any other transport options, official data showed.