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Snow Storms Cut Bus Trips During Spring Festival Travel Season

Chinese travelers made 2.02 billion bus trips during the Spring Festival travel season, down 1.6 percent over the same period of last year, Xinhua learnt from the Ministry of Communications on Monday.

The ministry attributed the decrease to the unprecedented snow havoc, which paralyzed trunk lines, forced highway closures, caused traffic congestion and killed dozens of people in snow-related traffic accidents.

Meanwhile, many people cancelled their travel plans amid worries about the traffic havoc.

According to He Jianzhong, the ministry spokesman, bus transportation in some snow-hit provinces, including Guizhou, Hunan, Anhui and Hubei, was down by 10 percent to 60 percent year on year during the travel season.

However, He said, buses remained the main transporting vehicles, taking more than 90 percent of the passenger flow during the travel season.

Chinese railways carried a record of 196 million passengers during the travel season, an increase of 11.8 percent over the same period a year ago.

The travel season, or Chunyun during the Chinese Lunar New Year, is an annual test of China's transportation system. This year, Chunyun lasted 45 days and ended on Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2008)

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