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December 20, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Spring Festival leads to mass migration

THE busiest travel period of the year kicks off on January 19 and will last until February 27 as millions leave Shanghai for the Spring Festival.

As the upcoming Chinese New Year's Eve falls on February 2, it is estimated that the 40-day national travel peak will start on January 19, -transport authorities announced yesterday.

The most important festival for Chinese people, also called the Lunar New Year, leads to mass migration across the whole country, as migrant workers, office workers and students leave big cities to spend a long holiday with their families and celebrate the Chinese New Year together.

For many migrant workers, it is the only opportunity to visit home all year due to the cost of travel.

The expansion and improvement to the provincial road network has allowed new long-haul bus routes to open.

The number of travelers using coaches during the Spring Festival is expected to reach 3.09 million people, up by 2 percent from the same 40-day period of last year, the local transport bureau estimated.

Up to 5,300 coaches will be in service with approximately 8,000 others on stand-by to increase the bus supply if necessary, local transport officials said.

Inspections have started on the safety equipment on provincial buses, such as the condition of their GPS systems and fire-safety equipment.

Last year, 25.99 million people moved in and out of the city by rail, air, long-haul buses and provincial ferries during the Spring Festival travel peak, setting a new record for total travelers.

Trains are often the most economic travel choice for lower-income classes and huge lines of people wanting to buy tickets form day and night at local railway stations before the Chinese New Year.

Local authorities have not yet announced how many people in total are estimated to move in and out of Shanghai during the busy period.


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