China's railways transported around 100 million passengers during the 25-day Spring Festival travel rush, Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railways announced here at a press conference Wednesday.
By 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, the travel flow by railway has reached 93.4 million, 2.56 million more than the same period of last year. With an estimated 4.81 million added Wednesday, the figure will press 100 million, according to Wang.
The ministry estimates that China's railways will transport an unprecedented 156 million passengers during the 40-day Spring Festival travel peak from Feb. 3 to March 14, up 4.3 percent year-on-year.
The travel rush hit a feverish point as passenger flow reached 4.9 million on Feb. 24, a record high.
The travel season made a hotbed for ticket scalpers, who hoarded tickets and sold them at price much higher than the face value.
According to Wang, the going-on campaign starting from Jan. 10 and targeting at ticket scalping, has sacked 5,983 ticket scalpers and confiscated more than 70,000 tickets worth 9.1 million yuan (US$1.2 million).
The week-long Spring Festival, one of the most important occasions for family reunions in China, lasted from Feb. 18 to 24 this year. People rushed home and then back to work, posing great pressure on railways, an affordable and efficient means of transportation.
(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2007)