China to See Passenger Flow of 1.74 Billion in Peak Season

China's transportation department is expected to serve 1.74 billion passengers during this year's 40-day spring peak season, which starts in six days.

The figure represents a rise of 3.3 percent from a year earlier and a daily average of 43.5 million, an official of the State Economic and Trade Commission said Tuesday.

It is expected the railway system will carry 130 million passengers during the peak season, up two percent year on year; the highway system will handle 1.58 billion passengers, up four percent; airlines will have 7.25 million passengers, up 1.5 percent.

Only 23.4 million passengers are expected to travel by water, eight percent less than a year earlier.

36 Million Transient Workers to Return Home

During the upcoming Spring Festival holidays, 60 percent of the total 60 million rural people working in cities will return home for the festival, Lin Yongsan, vice-minister of China's Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said Tuesday.

According to Lin, in the month after the festival, the number of rural workers returning to work and new groups seeking jobs in cities will exceed 35 million.

The national labor and social security departments at different levels should analyze the flow direction of the rural workers, so as to facilitate the transportation flow, said Lin.

During the travel peak, the ministry requires provinces such as Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and cities like Beijing and Shanghai, where most rural workers have flocked, should provide the flow timetable to help the transportation sector make appropriate arrangements.

China's railway and road sectors have set up branches for ticket service in places with large numbers of rural workers.

Safe Travel

China's Economic and Trade Commission, jointly with the railway, road, air and other authorities concerned, held a national tele-conference to arrange this year's Spring Festival peak transportation work Tuesday in Beijing.

During the coming 40-day period around the traditional Spring Festival holidays -- from January 28 to March 8 -- transportation departments will see a total passenger flow of 1.74 billion.

Vice-Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said that the transportation volume this year will be the biggest in history, and the ministry has arranged 111 pairs of extra trains before the festival and another 154 extra pairs after the festival.

Over one million railway employees are ready to serve the passengers during the peak season, and 50,000 temporary assistants have been trained for the work, said Liu.

Vice-Minister of Communications Hu Xijie said that his ministry has organized 12,100 buses from 17 provinces to help relieve the pressure in Guangdong Province and some other places, which will see the most travelers.

Vice-Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said that the urban traffic authorities should see to it that all buses, ships, stations and ports are in good condition.

At the meeting, Shi Wanpeng, vice-minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission, expressed belief that this year's Spring Festival season transportation will be safe and efficient.

( People's Daily January 23, 2002)

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