【英语中国】中国准备迎接春运高峰 China Braces for Holiday Travel Crush

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所属分类:双语中国

2014-1-15 17:32

小艾摘要: China is a country on the move -- especially around its Lunar New Year holiday. This year, the holiday crush promises to be even heavier than before. Government officials estimate that 3.62 billion ...
China Braces for Holiday Travel Crush
China is a country on the move -- especially around its Lunar New Year holiday. This year, the holiday crush promises to be even heavier than before.

Government officials estimate that 3.62 billion people will take to the air, roads and railways over a 40-day period around the nation's most important holiday this year. The total is about 200 million more than last year -- nearly three trips per person for this country of 1.3 billion -- as people jostle their way home for family gatherings or to indulge their new-found passion for travel.

Officially the holiday lasts only a week, from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, but this is often the only lengthy break for the year for much of the nation's workforce and the mighty movement of people strains the transport system well beyond the confines of the government-set calendar.

Getting tickets to all those would-be travelers is a daunting challenge that annually tries patience as well as stamina.

And it is the railway system that routinely is most unable to cope.

Trains will move some 258 million people over that period -- far more than the 42 million predicted to travel by air though well short of the 3.2 billion expected to take to the nation's roads. Railways are the transport of choice for low-cost long-distance travel, and that's where the ticketing system routinely falls down.

Much of the criticism has focused on the railway's online purchasing system, which has been unable to keep pace with the huge demand and also failed stop scalpers from ending up with many of the hard-to-find tickets.

While insisting that online sales were the fairest way to get tickets in the hands of travelers, rail officials told reporters at the briefing the public needs to be patient. Efforts were being made to provide online identity checks that would reduce the ticket scalping problems.
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'There is no timetable for sorting out the problem of getting tickets,' said Hu Yadong, president of China Railway Corp, the company that has been in charge of running the nation's railway system since it replaced the railway ministry earlier this year.

'Both the government and our company are working hard on this and I believe we can gradually alleviate the problems,' he told a news briefing.

The rail system stretches across 100,000 kilometers and its pricier high-speed service now boasts some 10,000 kilometers of track. But with high-speed tickets hard to come by, many travelers are left standing in the aisles of the slower trains.

Officials were asked whether there might be some relief for those forced to stand -- maybe a discount ticketing system? 'That would be technically very difficult,' said Mr. Hu.

While officials had little good news for rail passengers, they did manage to bring a few smiles to those traveling by car as the country's notoriously expensive highway tolls will be waived for the duration of the official holiday.

But even here, expect one small catch. For those hoping to save a few yuan on the drive to that New Year's Eve dinner -- think again. New Year's Eve isn't officially part of the holiday, and if you want to get there on time, you're going to have to pay.

Getty Images北京首都国际机场内的一家人。
中国是一个人口流动性很强的国家,特别是在中国农历新年假日期间。今年春运形势较以往更加严峻。

据官方估计,今年在春节这个中国最重要的假日前后40天的时限内,航空、公路和铁路的客运量将达到36.2亿人次(是中国13亿人口总量的近三倍),将较去年增加约2亿人次,因人们在春节期间赶回家与家人团聚,或是热衷于旅游。

国家规定1月31日到2月6日为公共假日,只有一周时间,但对于中国大部分异地务工人员来说,这是一年中唯一一个长假,交通系统面临巨大人口流动压力的时间要远远超过官方假期的时限。

对于那些有出行打算的人来说,购票是一年一度对耐心和毅力的严峻考验。

铁路系统仍是运力缺口最大的部门。

春运期间铁路系统将输送2.58亿人次的旅客,远高于预测的航空客运量4,200万人次,但大大低于全国公路客运量的预测值——32亿人次。铁路适合寻求低成本的长途旅行者,而铁路购票系统老是出问题。

批评主要集中在铁路网上购票系统,该系统无法满足巨大的购票需求,而且,无法阻止黄牛倒票。

铁路部门的官员一方面坚称,对许多旅客来说,互联网购票是最公平的一种方式,另一方面在新闻发布会上又对记者称,公众还需有耐心。已采取措施实施网上身份实名制验证,这将减少倒票问题的发生。

中国铁路总公司(China Railway Corp.)副总经理胡亚东说,目前解决“一票难求”问题没有时间表。去年早些时候铁路总公司取代了铁道部,负责全国铁路系统的运营。

胡亚东在新闻发布会上说,政府和中国铁路总公司正积极努力,他认为问题将逐步得到解决。

中国铁路网络总长达10万公里,价格更高的高铁线路总长也有1万公里。但高铁一票难求,许多旅客只能买到慢车站票。

当被问及无座车票的乘客是否会得到一些优惠,如票价的折扣时,胡亚东说,这在技术上操作难度较大。

虽然官员们没有给铁路乘客带来任何好消息,但驾车出行的人却感到一丝欣慰:春节假日期间,收费的高速公路免费。

但也存在一个小小的陷阱。那些想省些钱开车回家赶年夜饭的人需要再想一想。大年三十不属于公共假日,如果想赶上年夜饭,那就要付高速费。

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