In the next half an month or so, we will experience the largest transportation tide. It is maybe the largest scale of people move in the planet. It is because of the Spring Festival.
Why So Many People Need to Go Home
Although people do not treat spring festival as serious as the previous generations (some may ignore the Chunlian, or couplet, some may ignore the traditional events during the festival), most of people still keep the tradition of going back home during the Spring Festival.
Spring Festival is the biggest holiday in China. For many people, it is maybe the only holiday for them to have a chance to leave where they work or study and get back to home. No matter where you are, most of the people will try to get back home.
How Many People
I don’t need to mention the population of China: 1.3 billion or 1.6 billion (depends on which source you get the information). The change in the recent few years is clear, more and more people are mobile. They move out of their home town and move to larger cities, like Shanghai, Beijing or move from smaller village to cities nearby. This adds to the demand to transportation capacity during the Spring Festival. During this peak time, many train stations are sending more than 200K passengers per day.
No Way to Get Ticket
Every year, during this period of time, it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to get a train ticket. People have to wait in cold for hours, or days, just to hear the person in the ticket counter to say “no” with their own ears.
Let’s just imagine this scenario. If I decide to go back to Luoyang, my choices will be:
- Go to Train station to get ticket. Definitely no way. There are no train tickets, and even the tickets without seat (standing there for 19 hours) are sold out. For every ticket, there are at least thousands of people there waiting for it.
- Pay high price – even those resellers who charge double to triple the price cannot help you. You have money, but you cannot get the ticket.
- By Air? No way. All tickets are booked long time ago.
- By Bus? All bus tickets are sold out. No way to get more. Don’t dream about cheaper price. Full price tickets already disappeared.
Snow and Bad Weather Cause Bigger Problem
I just read the news. Due to snow, there are already 0.6 million people jammed in the train station. More and more people are coming. The Metro Station in Guangzhou has been used to hold these passengers.
I just talked with some people who decided to go back home, but don’t have a ticket. All the door closed to them. It seems there is only one door left for them: walk.
I run into the same problem before, but this time, we decided not to go back home. My parents visited us before the festival, just to avoid the rush hours.
More Transportation Capacity Seriously Needed
The huge demand for transportation and the relative weak supply caused the big problem. In the future, I do want to see the government put more money form the huge tax dollars into transportation, and do something to help the people to get the ticket they need, and help them to get back home (including me).