Motorcycles to get free ride for holiday
Updated: 2016-01-14 07:11
By Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou(China Daily)
Migrant workers in Guangdong province who must travel by motorcycle back to their hometowns in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region for Spring Festival can make a quicker, safer journey this year with special trains for them and their bikes.
The trains will be launched around Jan 26 to deliver migrant workers' motorcycles from Guangzhou in Guangdong to Guigang in Guangxi.
The service is free. The motorcycles will be transferred to the gas station nearest the Guigang high-speed railway station for riders to fetch.
Those who apply for motorcycle delivery get priority to buy tickets for the special high-speed trains, which will run from Jan 31 to Feb 5, one train per day. They are expected to take about 3,600 migrant workers and their families home from Guangzhou to Nanning in Guangxi.
The elderly, weak, juvenile and pregnant also get priority.
"We launched the service this year because we got feedback from last year's passengers on the special trains that motorcycles are important vehicles for them to visit relatives and friends during the Spring Festival holiday," said Peng Guiyang, an official in the publicity department of the Guangzhou Railway (Group) Corp.
The corporation opened special trains from Guangzhou to Nanning for migrant workers for the first time during the Spring Festival travel rush last year and improved service to better meet the needs of motorcycle travelers, Peng said.
As a manufacturing base, the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong has attracted a tide of migrant workers from neighboring provinces and regions, including Guangxi, Hunan and Fujian and nearby provinces including Guizhou and Sichuan.
The Spring Festival travel rush usually lasts from 15 days before the festival to 25 days afterward. Falling on Feb 8 this year, Chinese New Year is the most important traditional holiday for family reunions.
The travel rush is a tough test for the rail system, whose capacity is strained by surging demand for homeward journeys.
Many migrant workers, therefore, choose to ride motorcycles to their hometowns, enduring long, uncomfortable journeys full of perils.
Traffic police of Wuzhou in Guangxi recorded about 400,000 motorcycle trips through the city during the travel rush in 2014. During the 20 days before the festival, the motorcycle exodus caused more than 10 traffic jams and up to 15 traffic accidents a day.
The opening of the Nanning-Guangzhou high-speed railway in December 2014 provided migrant workers with a safer option to go home and reduced travel time by at least 10 hours to only four hours.
Moreover, Guangdong's Department of Human Resources and Social Security will pay the tickets for the special train on Jan 31. Enterprises will sponsor the one on Feb 1.
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