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January 18, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

'Red-eye' buses return for holiday rush

SHANGHAI will allow overnight long-distance services, once banned for safety concerns, to handle increasing passenger volumes for the upcoming Spring Festival, when millions will head home.

Traffic authorities said they will see to it that the operators rotate drivers during the long trips of "red-eye service."

Only three coach bus operators in the city are allowed to offer overnight services from 2am to 5am, starting January 20. Other operators are not included in the service, and they have to stop for three hours during that time.

Shanghai is among the 13 cities around the country involved in the pilot operation to ease transportation pressures during the rush, which begins on January 26.

Road authorities banned late-night services after fatal coach bus accidents last year.

"We will closely monitor the trips to avoid driver fatigue and traffic violations," said Zhou Huai, deputy director with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration.

Zhou added that the traffic authorities will supervise the operations via surveillance cameras onboard and GPS to ensure that drivers take shifts and rest.

The city has nearly 200 long-distance bus services of over 800 kilometers. For now, only the trip from Shanghai to Chengdu is allowed in the pilot run. Driver shifts will be changed in the middle of the trips near expressway toll stations where drivers can rest and buses can park.

Traffic authorities cut the night services last year, causing some passengers to complain, saying they have long waits during the drivers' rest.

Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station said yesterday it has sold 30,000 tickets boarding from January 26 to February 8.


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