The mini program for the 12306 booking service on WeChat. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
This year, nearly 3 billion trips are expected during the Spring Festival travel rush between Feb 1 and March 12 as hundreds of millions of Chinese return to their hometowns or travel around the country.
With the upgrade of the transport networks and new technologies, passengers will be provided with better services during the rush.
Bullet trains to better serve passengers
Some of the newly opened high-speed train routes, including the Lanzhou-Chongqing line and Xi’an-Chengdu line, will reduce pressure on the transportation system and take passengers to their destinations in a faster and more convenient way.
Also, China’s new-generation bullet trains Fuxing (or rejuvenation) will run on more lines during the travel rush. The new trains, which are able to run at more than 300 km/h, were independently developed by China.
Artificial intelligence helps stop ‘ticket snatching’
12306.cn, the official online train ticket booking system, will use advanced technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to prevent “ticket snatching” plug-ins used by scalpers.
Identity verification graphics will come up randomly when a buyer purchases tickets on a busy route to reduce pressure on the booking system. And such graphics will not appear when reserving tickets on less-favored routes to facilitate the purchasing procedure.
During the travel rush period, railway passengers can check information about purchasing, changing or returning tickets on the mini program for 12306 on WeChat, a popular instant messaging app.
Also, China Railway Corp, the national railway operator, will facilitate easier travel by rolling out services such as self-service check-in machines in railway stations and ordering food online while riding the trains.
No tolls for road travelers
As for road transport, the ETC (electronic toll connection) system will be used to improve the efficiency of road travel, while small passenger cars can drive toll-free on the highways during the Spring Festival holiday.