The story appears on

Page A4

January 26, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Car pools to beat Spring Festival rush

TENS of thousands of passengers, eager to go home for the Spring Festival but who failed to get railway or bus tickets, have found another method of traveling - car pooling.

In Shanghai, about 10,000 people have applied to a popular car pooling website, trying to find partners to team up with and arrange transport back to their hometowns.

Chen Zhenzhen, who works in a trade company in Shanghai, told a local evening newspaper that she -applied online together with her sisters and "hopefully the car journey will be comfortable."

Chen usually goes home to central China's Henan Province once a year by train. The tickets to her hometown are among the most popular ones and the hardest to get hold of.

"The trip on the train is always an endurance test because of the huge crowds," said Chen.

The car pool, she said, may give her a different, better experience.

The organizer announced online: "Let's give a hand to our fellows and give them a ride."

To car pool, would-be travelers find people who wish to head in the same direction and then share the costs with the other passengers - the driver's fuel costs and toll fees are covered by the passengers. The partner passengers can also arrange to go back together after the holiday ends.

However lawyers advise people to sign agreements with passengers and drivers first, in case of problems like accidents during the long journeys.

Drivers must be over 20 years old and have more than one year's driving experience, according to a rule online - they should also have clean records over the prior three months.

With regards to passengers, they must provide someone who can vouch for them at the destination they are traveling to. Passengers also have to prove that they live in the city they are traveling from and provide evidence that they have a job. This is to make sure that the drivers will be paid on arrival at the destination, or if they have arranged to travel back, at the end of the second leg of the journey.

Car pooling, while not strictly legal, has gathered much public attention - enough for city traffic authorities to say they have launched a feasibility study into car pooling to help reduce congestion in the city.

Traffic laws do not have specific clauses concerning car pooling.

However, officials said that they would not encourage this method of travel, especially during a time when the authorities are cracking down on illegal operations at transport hubs.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend