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September 21, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

40% more cars jam highway on holiday

THE city is expected to see a 40 percent increase on highway traffic volume during the National Day holidays with the peak day's traffic volume reaching over 1 million, city traffic officials said yesterday.

A new policy to suspend toll collection during major public holidays may dramatically increase traffic volume during the upcoming holidays, city authorities warned.

The upcoming eight-day holiday starts on September 30 and will see a big exodus as families use the long holiday to travel. The first day of the holiday is likely to be the peak travel day, officials said.

According to the new national policy, the city's highway toll collections would be suspended from midnight on September 30 to midnight on October 8, said Dai Xiaojian, an official.

Drivers of vehicles with seven seats or less may enjoy free rides. However, they still have to collect toll cards from checkpoints and return them to next stations, Dai said. The cards will help vehicles line up in order at checkpoints and also help traffic officials to gather traffic volume data, Dai said.

But he warned that as the National Day holiday would be the first holiday for motorists to enjoy the policy, they should be prepared for serious gridlock.

The traffic department said the waiving of road tolls can cut the cost of a driving trip by half. Many drivers who previously chose toll-free roads will be tempted to travel on expressways.

More workers will work overtime and more checkpoints will be open during the holiday to cope with anticipated traffic jams, officials said.

Meanwhile, more tourists coming into the city may pressure the city's transportation systems.

The city's buses are expected to receive 7 million passengers a day during the holidays with 7.8 million on the peak day. The Metro lines are expected to have 5.8 million passengers a day with 7.35 million on the peak day, officials said.


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