Online ticketing eases spring festival travel pressure in China

China 24

With over a month to go, China is already gearing up for the Spring Festival Travel Rush. Railway tickets are now on sale, and much of the ticketing is done online. That’s one reason why getting a ticket home may be less stressful.

CGTN’s Sun Ye reports from Beijing.

On the first day, the hard-to-get tickets go on sale. Getting them isn’t a hassle anymore.

Wang Yinhua is chief engineer for Qihoo 360 ticket service. He had established himself as the ticket-master for rush routes over time. But with the data at hand this new year, he said he might slowly be out of a job.

“Fewer people need the service now,” Wang said, thanks to fast developing on-line services and the expanding railway network.

Wang said China’s railway capacity has doubled in the last five years, and with high-speed trains speeding up and expanding, cutting down commute times, it’s much easier to meet the demand.

The guard is not let down too soon, as there are still busy routes and dates that need looking out for. Guangzhou would likely be the busiest place in the country. As for Beijing, it’s easy to get a ticket for the day.

But traffic will not stay light for much longer, as the capital is expected to empty out a couple days before Spring Festival. Ticket-snatching, if there is one this year, will be two weeks from now.

“I’m still afraid that I won’t get a ticket on the day, given how many have been competing for the tickets to Shenyang in the past few years,” one woman said. “But I can work it out changing the date of departure.”

China Railway Corporation officials said that they will be able to handle 30 million more trips this year, and that’s on top of the 350 million for the period in 2017. So maybe passengers this year can lay back, just a little.

Shanjiang Zhu on China’s Spring Festival travel rush

For more insight on China’s Spring Festival travel rush, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Shanjiang Zhu, a transportation engineering professor at George Mason University.