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Migrant workers get first access to travel rush tickets

Updated: 2013-12-07 22:03
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese migrant workers will enjoy earlier access to train tickets during this year's "chunyun," a period of travel rush around the Spring Festival, the China Railway Corporation said Saturday.

A spokesman from the corporation told Xinhua that employers of migrant workers, those from rural areas who find work in Chinese cities, can start booking train tickets for their workers starting on Saturday, 40 days ahead of the first day of chunyun.

The Spring Festival, or China's lunar new year, is the country's most important traditional holiday for family reunions. Most people will go home for the festival, putting great pressure on the country's transportation system.

The coming Spring Festival falls on Jan 31, 2014. The approaching chunyun, literally translated as "spring transportation," is scheduled for January 16 to Feb 24, 2014.

Regular train ticket sales online or by telephone start 20 days before the travel date. This means migrant workers will be able to book tickets for the first day of chunyun 20 days earlier than other people.

The spokesman said all temporary trains mobilized for chunyun will first meet the needs of migrant workers.

Additionally, groups of five or more migrant workers will also be allowed to buy tickets themselves without going through their employers, the spokesman said.

The number of rural migrant workers had increased 3.9 percent to 262.61 million by the end of 2012, accounting for 19.39 percent of the country's total population, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.