China on Saturday announced the start of the annual peak travel season around the traditional Spring Festival, or Chinese lunar new year, which falls on February 29.
Railways, highways, passenger ships and airlines around China are bracing up for the festival transport peak. The country has identified a 40-day period - from Jan. 14 to Feb. 22 - as the peak travel season.
Chinese transport departments estimated the total number of passengers for journeys to be close to 2 billion this year, over 90 percent of whom would choose land transport.
A record 301 pairs of temporary trains are expected to be launched on Chinese railways for the peak travel season, according to the Ministry of Railways. This is 59 pairs more than that for last year's festival, up 24 percent.
About 700,000 large and medium-sized buses will go into service during this season, said Vice Minister of Communications Feng Zhe
Both railway and highway transport departments have temporarily increased the number of ticket offices and extended the selling period to cope with the soaring demand in the peak season.
The number of railway ticket offices in the national capital Beijing has amounted to 1,087 during the travel season, according to official statistics.