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Shanghai all geared up for rush
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Extra bus routes have been set up and hundreds of taxis are on standby around major transport hubs as returning holiday crowds flood back into the city.


The Shanghai coach authority said the number of incoming passengers increased sharply yesterday, indicating the start of the rush as the Spring Festival holiday break comes to an end.


Zhang Yongbin, a director of the Shanghai Long Distance Bus General Station, said up to 150 extra buses had arrived in town by yesterday afternoon.


"The extra shuttles were added temporarily by counterpart coach authorities outside of Shanghai, in the face of increased demand," he said.


"We found many of the arriving travelers today are still here to visit friends or do shopping. It's likely they want to make use of the last day of the holiday. Those who spent the holiday in places very close to Shanghai also started to return today.''


Zhang said nearly 1,100 long-distance bus lines were operating normally yesterday, while dozens of others were still out of service including trips between Shanghai and Sichuan and Liaoning provinces and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.


The authority believes incoming daily traffic will increase markedly - by between 300 and 500 shuttles - in the lead up to the peak around the Lantern Festival on February 21.


Railway officials estimate that around February 22 more than 800,000 people will travel by trains daily in Shanghai and neighboring provinces.


To ease pressure at airports, railway stations and passenger docks, nine temporary bus-transit lines have been opened by urban transport authorities.


The temporary lines, which were opened early yesterday morning, will operate from midnight until 6am every day.


The transport authority has also ordered 600 cabs from the Jinjiang taxi fleet to be available every day at Hongqiao Airport.


City traffic police said yesterday that during the holiday week starting on February 6, 39 road accidents involving deaths or serious injuries occurred, a drop of 15.2 percent from the same period a year earlier. The accidents left four people dead and 47 others hurt.


(Shanghai Daily February 13, 2008)


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