SCIO press conference on making every effort to ensure sound transportation services during 2023 Spring Festival

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China Transport News:

Railways play an important role in the Spring Festival travel rush every year. What new measures will the railway authorities adopt this year? Thank you.

Huang Xin:

Thank you for your question. As regards this year's travel rush, China Railway will conscientiously implement the relevant deployments and requirements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on the work of the Spring Festival travel rush, continue to adhere to the people-centered development philosophy, take better-coordinated steps to respond to COVID-19 and the travel rush, and better coordinate development and security. We will optimize the train operation plan for the Spring Festival travel peak season, and accurately implement the epidemic prevention and control measures. On the basis of reviewing good practices from the past, we will launch a series of measures to help people in different links of purchasing tickets, waiting and boarding, so as to ensure safe, orderly and warm Spring Festival travels, and provide passengers with a better travel experience.

In terms of capacity arrangement, we will make scientific and precise arrangements. We will coordinate and make good use of new lines and new stations opened last year, as well as newly operated advanced equipment such as Fuxing bullet trains, to enhance the overall function of the rail network and improve passenger capacity. Following the principles of "sufficient arrangements, on-demand start, quick response and emergency preparedness," we will scientifically arrange the train operation schedule.

In terms of orderly travel, it is necessary to create a healthy and safe travel environment for passengers. We will conscientiously implement various measures for COVID-19 prevention and control and security management, strengthen the organization of passenger flows at stations, strictly control the occupancy rate of trains, and guide passengers to enter stations and wait for trains in an orderly manner, and maintain a safe distance. We will strengthen ventilation and disinfection in key places to maintain a good environment in trains and stations, actively promote contactless services, strengthen the promotion of travel health tips, improve employee health management, and guide passengers to wear masks throughout the entirety of their journeys to enhance their own health protection.

In terms of station and train services, we will focus on introducing measures to improve convenience for passengers in three aspects. First, we will improve ticket purchasing services. We will further optimize the 12306 online ticket purchasing system, expand the application of electronic tickets, and fully implement digital management in the links of excess fare payment at stations and trains. Second, we will no longer set time requirements for student discount tickets. Students can purchase four one-way discount tickets at any time in each school year, which are convenient for them to use at any time throughout the year. Third, if a passenger refunds a ticket due to railway liability or force majeure, all connecting tickets can be refunded at the same time, and the refund fee will be waived. Passengers will no longer be charged a service fee for excess fares or changing tickets. Meanwhile, we will expand the scope of trains with discounted fares in the non-peak direction.

Regarding travel information services, we will introduce code scanning services on more than 3,200 high-speed trains. Passengers can scan the code on their armrest to check travel service information related to arrival and departure time, train locations, trains available for transfer, and transportation of other vehicles. They can also buy food and beverages, pay for ticket extensions, upgrade their seats and search for lost belongings. Meanwhile, we will improve the message notification mechanism of 12306 to ensure that passengers who have booked tickets via 12306 and logged accurate contact information receive updates about the suspension of trains and information changes. This will enable them to get up-to-date information about train operations and make better travel arrangements. 

In terms of transfer services, passengers are particularly concerned about transfer information during the Spring Festival travel rush. The number of stations where intra-station transfers are available has increased from 80 to 100. We will also improve service facilities and upgrade signposts to improve transfer efficiency and provide convenience for passengers during the Spring Festival travel rush. Thank you. 

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