At about a month before large crowds of people go on the move
for the 2008 Lunar New Year, China's Ministry of Railways (MOR)
said on Thursday it would offer round-trip tickets for migrant
Many of these workers only get home for family gatherings once a
year, during the Spring Festival, the most important holiday for
Chinese. But train tickets are often difficult to get at that time,
since millions of Chinese want to go home.
The Lunar New Year's Day for 2008 falls on Feb. 7.
The round-trip tickets would be available at railway stations in
cities with a high concentration of migrant workers, such as
Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan in southern Guangdong
Province, as well as Wenzhou and Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang
Province, according to an MOR official.
Railway stations would start to sell round-trip tickets to the
migrant workers between Jan. 11 and 31, and information about the
tickets would be published beforehand along with contact phone
numbers, the official said.
However, only enterprises that employed more than 100 migrant
workers were allowed to buy round-trip tickets for these
Employers would have to present a range of documents, including
a written application, their business license and an authorization
for employing migrant workers from local governments.
Migrant workers would be able to start their return trips at
places that see a large outflow of rural labor, such as cities in
central Hubei Province, eastern Anhui Province and southwestern
The return trip needed to be scheduled between Feb. 10 and
Previously, round-trip train tickets were only available for
China has about 200 million migrant workers across the country,
among whom about 120 million traveled to other cities to seek
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2007)