Open Governance
How to Ensure Safe Travel During the Travel Rush Before the Spring Festival?

On January 18, the Information Office of the People's Government of Sichuan Province held a press conference on "Free Travel Sichuan-wide for a Happy Sichuan-flavoured Spring Festival", revealing that as of January 17, 19.261 million trips had been made during this year's Spring Festival travel rush which account for 4.5% of the national total, an increase of 7.2% over the same period in 2022, and 57.6% of the same period in 2019.

During this year's Spring Festival travel rush, the first one after the implementation of Class B Infectious Disease Management for COVID-19 Infections, how to ensure safe travel?

How Is the Current Situation?

Passenger Flow Recovers and Rebounds, Making Transportation Guarantee an Arduous Task

"The situation is complex and the task is arduous," said Ning Jian, Deputy Director of the Department of Transportation of Sichuan Province, describing this year's Spring Festival travel rush.

The recovery and rebound of passenger flow have put great pressure on the province's transportation guarantee capacity. As of January 17, 19.261 million passenger trips had been made during the Spring Festival travel rush across the province. Among them, trips by highway, 11.727 million in number, accounted for more than half of the total, 47.2% of the same period in 2019. Besides, there were 5.069 million trips made by railway and 2.079 million trips by civil aircraft. The number of passenger cars on expressways reached 2.448 million per day, an increase of 27% and 4.2% over the same period in 2019 and 2022, respectively.

"On the first day of the travel rush, over 1,000 passenger flights were made at Chengdu's two airports, up 85% month-on-month," said Cui Tangmin, Director of the Transportation Division of Sichuan Supervision Bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), "It is expected that the average daily passenger throughput of Sichuan's airports will exceed 200,000 during the peak period of civil aviation transportation."

Yet the test is far from over. During and after the Spring Festival, especially around the 6th day of the first lunar month and the Lantern Festival, there will also be passenger flows of people returning to posts, migrant workers, and students. It is estimated that the total passenger flow of this year's Spring Festival travel rush will reach 92.39 million, up 36% from last year, of which passenger flows by highway, railway, civil aircraft and waterway account for about 70.35%, 20.56%, 7.35% and 1.74% of the total respectively.

"According to the forecast of the meteorological department, there is a greater possibility for some areas to experience low-temperature and extremely frozen disastrous weather during the Spring Festival travel rush," said Ning Jian, "together with the large and urgent needs of products and living materials, energy materials, and medical and epidemic prevention materials, bringing even greater pressure to the travel rush."

How to Guarantee Transportation?

Effective Measures Will Be Introduced to Accurately Meet the Travel Needs of Different Passenger Flows

In the face of the arduous transportation guarantee task, what measures will be taken by departments to ensure people's safe travel?

The railway segment will launch a set of convenient services. According to Yao Qian, Deputy Director of the Passenger Transport Department of China Railway Chengdu Bureau Group Co., Ltd., the railway sector will introduce new measures to improve passengers' experience of ticket purchase and refund, implement the e-payment service for ticket extension province-wide, and further facilitate transfer services among stations. "For example, passengers can transfer at 7 stations including Chengdudong, Guangyuan, Dazhou, Neijiangbei, Mianyang, Deyang, and Jiangyou."

The civil aviation segment will dispatch more flights. In order to cope with the surging passenger flow, airlines will actively take measures to deploy capacity, adjust aircraft types, and arrange extra flights. More flights will be dispatched to popular airports such as Chengdu Shuangliu, Chengdu Tianfu, Luzhou, Yibin, and Mianyang. At the same time, it will actively promote the resumption of international/regional passenger routes and increase the number of flights according to the needs of passengers.

The highway segment will make every effort to ensure sufficient allocation of transport capacity. According to Sun Zhen, Chief Engineer of Sichuan Provincial Integrated Transportation Administrative Law Enforcement Corps (Expressway Administration Bureau of the Department of Transportation of Sichuan Province), all qualified buses will be put into the Spring Festival travel rush, with a total of 308,000 regular vehicles and 7,000 emergency vehicles, which can basically meet the travel needs of the masses.

Meanwhile, by classifying and organizing different passenger flows, their travel needs will be accurately served. 406 extra-long passenger vehicles will be dispatched to serve migrant workers to return to and from their hometowns, so that they can arrive homes directly from the factory door after getting on board. 27,000 rural passenger vehicles will be operated to serve the travel needs of rural residents visiting relatives and friends. Modes such as regular bus lines, buses serving a certain area, chartered buses, and travel reservations will be adopted according to local conditions. 7,000 chartered buses will be offered for scenic spots, featuring services such as express tourist buses, chartered buses, and travel reservations. A total of 274,000 buses, taxis and ride-hailing cars and 13 urban rail transit lines will be put into operation to facilitate the transfer between hub stations. 3,999 customized passenger vehicles will be provided for personalized high-end travels, featuring "point-to-point and "door-to-door" transportation services.

How to Respond to the Travel Peak?

Prepare for Emergency Responses with More Vehicles Dispatched and Service Time Extended

"Today (January 18) is the 12th day of the Spring Festival travel rush and the beginning of the last returning peak before the Spring Festival," said Ning Jian, suggesting that the effective connection between civil aviation, railway, urban public transportation and highway transportation will be further strengthened, and coordination in the operation time, organization and dispatching, and transportation capacity allocation will be enhanced, so as to solve the "last-kilometer" problem for passengers. At the same time, close attention will also be paid to the impact of heavy snow and fog on travel, and preparation for emergency responses will be made.

In response to the travel peak caused by the demand for visiting friends and relatives and going out for tourism during the Spring Festival, efforts will be made to dispatch more regular buses, extend the service time, and strengthen the travel reservation responses, to meet the travel demand for relatives-visiting and markets-touring in rural areas.

By strengthening monitoring of the trunk road network and urban road operation, especially in popular cities such as Xichang, Leshan, Ya'an, and Kangding, information on road conditions and roads with traffic congestion will be released timely to guide drivers to reasonably choose the travel route, time and destination to avoid peak travel. Meanwhile, service areas will also be prepared to meet peoples' needs for refueling, charging, dining, and going to the restrooms.

For the peak passenger flow on the 6th and 16th days of the first lunar month, local governments are encouraged to carry out group services and door-to-door services, and organize "point-to-point" chartered car transport if conditions permit, so as to ensure that migrant workers can return to work in an orderly manner and students return to school in a staggered manner.

Unit in Charge: General Office of Sichuan Provincial People’s Government
Organizer: Sichuan Provincial Big Data Center
Website Operation and Maintenance: China Telecom Sichuan Branch
Website Identification Code: 5100000062 Sichuan ICP No. 13001288
Sichuan Computer Information Network and Internet Security Record No. 51010402000507