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185,000 passengers leave SZ
Latest Updated by 2007-02-05 10:53:36
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Some 185,000 passengers left Shenzhen by train, road, air or ship Saturday, the first day of the Spring Festival travel season, yesterday's Chinese-language newspapers reported.

The number was similar to that recorded the same day last year, the reports said, quoting the city's Spring Festival travel office.

"This year's Spring Festival travel peak has started in a busy but orderly manner," hailed a headline in the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily. "The first day of the Spring Festival travel season hasn't seen a surge in passenger flows," said a headline in the Daily Sunshine.

The majority of the people choosing to go back home for a family reunion took a coach, with 108,300 passengers hitting the road on long-distance buses, a slight increase over the same day last year, according to the media reports. A total of 41,300 people left by train, down 0.10 percent over the previous year, while 29,300 people and 6,400 people traveled by air and ship respectively.

Safety is at the top of the agenda of the municipal transportation bureau. "We'll take every measure possible to ensure a safe and smooth Spring Festival travel season," said Chen Huigang, vice director general of the transportation bureau.

An estimated 8.75 million people will leave the city for family reunions or to go on holiday during the 40-day Spring Festival period. However, trains departing from Shenzhen can only carry 2.41 million people while aircraft only have a capacity of 1.2 million people. "More than half the passengers will have to travel by road," Chen said.

Chen said all the city's long-haul buses have been installed with global positioning system (GPS) to help ensure safety. Passengers can also enjoy more comfortable travel as many of the coaches will provide services similar to those provided by airlines, according to Chen.

Some passenger trains running between Shenzhen and Guangzhou were delayed Saturday due to the plate-laying project of a new rail line. Railway authorities reminded people not to arrive too early for intercity trains to avoid congestion. "Passengers can arrive about two hours ahead of the scheduled departure," the authorities said.

Airline passengers are reminded to arrive 90 minutes ahead of boarding time.

The Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar New Year, which this year falls on Feb. 18, is one of the most important occasions for Chinese family reunions.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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