People sit in waiting areas at the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. Hundreds of thousands of passengers passed through Shanghai's railway stations on Friday in preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, and according to state media, an estimated 2.91 billion journeys are expected to be made this year during the holiday period, traditionally a time for China's citizens to travel home and be with family and friends. AP Photo
China braces for 2.9 billion trips made during New Year
Associated Press / 04:29 PM January 30, 2016
BEIJING— China’s peak travel season is kicking into high gear this weekend as hundreds of millions of people return home for Spring Festival celebrations — or head for vacation destinations domestic and abroad.
According to the Ministry of transport, Chinese travelers are expected to make 2.9 billion trips during the 40-day period between Jan. 21 and March 3, with the majority of those trips falling in the weeks around the Feb. 8 Lunar New Year.
The country’s transportation infrastructure has struggled for years to handle what is considered the largest annual human migration on Earth, but a combination of improved online ticketing and a lackluster economy — meaning fewer migrant workers on the road — has mitigated the travel crush.