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March 12, 2010

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City set for tomb trips

OFFICIALS are preparing for big increases in traffic during the coming Qingming Festival, a three-day festival in early April that will see millions of Chinese visiting cemeteries to honor their deceased family members' tombs.

On April 5 alone, 2.2 million people are expected at Shanghai cemeteries, driving 210,000 vehicles, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

As part of the exodus out of town, Shanghai's two railway stations will carry almost 6 million passengers, a 5 percent rise over last year, during a 40-day rush that began yesterday.

More than 780,000 passengers will depart the city by train from April 3 to April 5. That's 5.26 percent more than last year.

Shanghai railway authorities are going to add 26 trains during the rush, mostly to neighboring cities like Suzhou and Wuxi.

Shanghai South Long-distance Bus Station will carry 105,000 passengers from April 2 to April 5, 10 percent more than last year.

To relieve the pressure on roads, nine local cemeteries will provide free shuttle buses from Metro stations, officials said this week. Cemeteries in Songjiang, Minhang and Jiading districts will provide the service on March 27 and 28 and from April 3 to 5.


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