BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- As the approaching Spring Festival puts stress on China's transport sector, some people are turning to hitchhiking to ease holiday travel burdens.
A ride-share program was launched by six microblog celebrities for the Spring Festival holiday travel season last year, and started up again on Wednesday.
The program is aimed at helping those who cannot secure tickets home, especially migrant workers with limited access to official ticketing systems.
Those failing to snap up tickets can now turn to an unofficial hitchhiking platform via shunfengche.org, text messages, a mobile app and microblog. Real name applications and contracts are essential for hitchhiking safety.
In 2012, over 1,000 people took advantage of the program, and the number is expected to jump to 10,000 this year, said Wang Yong, one of the program's founders.
The Spring Festival, China's most important holiday for family reunions, falls on Feb. 10 this year, and the holiday travel period runs from Jan. 26 to March 6.
A total of 224.5 million passenger trips are expected during the period, up 4.6 percent year on year, putting enormous stress on the country's transportation sector.
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