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Shanghai braces for migrant surge
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Shanghai will face a flood of migrant workers flocking back to the city to find work, mainly from Anhui, Sichuan and Hubei Provinces, railway operators said yesterday.

Shanghai Railway Administration officials said 61,000 passengers boarded trains on Tuesday to leave from Fuyang Railway Station, about 50,000 people more than its regular daily turnover.

Fuyang is a crucial railway center in Anhui and one of the country's biggest sources of urban farmer workers who would be seeking jobs in such big cities as Shanghai and Beijing.

Extra train services had been launched for trips from Fuyang, Hefei and Bengbu stations, all in Anhui.

Returning migrant workers mainly from Anhui, Sichuan and Hubei Provinces would start to flock to Shanghai by trains and long-haul buses no later than tomorrow, according to the transport authority.

Advanced booking for railway tickets was re-extended to 11 days from yesterday, after weeks-long changes to relieve the hordes during the Spring Festival.

On the first two days of this week, a total of 1.47 million people traveled by rail in the Yangtze Delta Region and part of Anhui, an increase of 10.5 percent from the previous year.

Nearly 150,000 people would have left by two local railway stations by the end of yesterday, according to the local railway operators.

The passenger turnover by air had so far totaled to nearly 2.8 million since the Spring Festival transport peak started on January 23, increasing by 4.8 percent from a year earlier, Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.

The Pudong International Airport handled 1.62 million of these passengers.

At least 74 million people traveled by urban public transport means during the weeklong holiday, the urban transport authority said.

The taxi booking hotlines were kept all busy in the holiday while the number of bus riders slightly reduced from a year earlier.

More than 21 million people took taxies by phone-booking during the week while buses across town handled a turnover of over 38 million at the same time, authority said.

The city's newly-expanded Metro network catered to about 1.9 million riders on average every day during the holiday week, which is 34 percent higher than the same period last year.

(Shanghai Daily February 14, 2008)

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