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Road traffic peaks ahead of Spring Festival

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-03 18:35

BEIJING - China's public transportation network is getting increasingly crowded as hundreds of millions journey home amid the Spring Festival travel rush that started last week.

Road traffic will hit a peak on Sunday, with around 88 million passengers expected to travel by bus, according to He Jianzhong, spokesman of the Ministry of Transport.

He said on Sunday morning that stations nationwide have mobilized 860,000 large and medium-sized buses to meet the growing demand.

The busy roads, together with poor weather conditions in some regions, have made the homeward trips quite an adventure for some passengers.

Some sections of roads in the snow-hit provinces of Shanxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang and Jilin were closed early on Sunday because of ice.

The National Meteorological Center forecast on Sunday that rain and snow will sweep most of central and east China in the coming three days, accompanied by temperature drops.

Also on Sunday, 5.86 million people are expected to travel by rail, and the Ministry of Railways has put an additional 642 trains into service to cope with the traffic.

Long-distances buses and trains are the most commonly used vehicles for Chinese travelers.

A record 3.41 billion trips are expected to be made over this year's Spring Festival travel rush, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's economic planner.

Spring Festival, the most important Chinese holiday for family reunions, falls on February 10 this year, making the holiday travel period span from January 26 to March 6.

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