China vows safe and smooth Spring Festival travel rush
Updated 19:25, 18-Jan-2019
China will take measures to ensure a safe and smooth Spring Festival travel rush, said officials with related departments on Friday during a press conference.
The 2019 Spring Festival travel rush, known as the Chunyun in Chinese, will run from January 21 to March 1. About 2.99 billion trips are expected to be made, up 0.6 percent compared with the previous year, said Lian Weiliang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Lian talked about key measures taken to ensure tension-free travel during the festival. The transportation capacity will be further enhanced with a 5.4 percent and 5.2 percent increase in the number of trains before and after the festival respectively, compared with last year.
China Railway Corporation anticipates 413 million passenger-trips during this year's “Chunyun,” with 10.33 million average daily passenger trips. The corporation is also adding extra trains as well as carriages to existing trains to cope with the hike.
K4173 (Hangzhou-Chongqing North), a new train for the 2019 Spring Festival, at Hangzhou Railway Station, east China, January 17, 2019. /VCG Photo

K4173 (Hangzhou-Chongqing North), a new train for the 2019 Spring Festival, at Hangzhou Railway Station, east China, January 17, 2019. /VCG Photo

The Civil Aviation Administration of China says they have received applications for 34,000 extra flights from airlines across the country. The Chinese mainland and Taiwan are chartering over 1,000 flights to make sure people from both sides of the strait can reunite with their families.
The civil aviation department has also arranged 532,000 flights during the period and estimates 73 million passenger trips will be made, 12 percent more than last year.
The ticket purchasing process has also been improved. Pilot areas for ticket purchase have been set up at some of the popular routes. The order and efficiency of Internet ticket purchasing process will also be upgraded. A total of 230,000 volunteers will help travelers this year, said Lian.

Ensure a safe journey home

Ensuring safety is the top priority of the Spring Festival travel work, said Liu Xiaoming, vice minister of transport.
The ministry will, in advance, investigate the hidden dangers and manage road congestion to prevent accidents. The building of credit records will be further strengthened and violators of laws and regulations will be severely punished, said Liu.
The Ministry of Public Security will supervise the road situation, rectify traffic safety hazards, and strictly prohibit unqualified cars from hitting the road. It will also optimize the police force and equipment during the period, and crack down on serious traffic violations such as fatigue and drunk driving, said Li Jiangping, deputy director of the Traffic Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security.
Chunyun has at times been called the largest annual human migration in the world.
As a result of the economic reforms during the last four decades, many Chinese have moved to bigger cities from less developed or rural areas seeking employment or education, but tradition calls for Chinese to reunite with their families for the Spring Festival every year. Hundreds of millions of Chinese will make the trip before and after the festival, putting tremendous pressure on China's transportation network.
(Zhao Yuheng also contributed to the story.)