Tue, January 10, 2012
China > Mainland > Spring Festival travel peak 2012

One-third of passengers secure train tickets via new booking system

2012-01-08 11:09:32 GMT2012-01-08 19:09:32(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Only one in every three passengers secured train tickets on Saturday through a new online booking system or by phone, according to railway statistics released Sunday.

A total of 2.112 million train tickets were sold online or by phone on Saturday, making up 36.3 percent of the total sales, the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said.

Railway authorities have long been under pressure to increase capacity and improve ticketing services, as many find it extremely hard to secure a single ticket during major holidays such as the upcoming Spring Festival.

The MOR set up an online ticketing system this year in a bid to ease passengers' frustrations in purchasing tickets.

However, website glitches have added to the woes of travelers, especially migrant workers, who make up the biggest group in the Spring Festival travel rush.

The rush, dubbed the world's largest seasonal migration, started Sunday and will continue for over 40 days.

China's railways are expected to carry 235 million passengers over the next 40 days, up 6.1 percent year-on-year, the MOR said last week.

The Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Jan. 23.

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