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Coordination key to easing festival travel woes

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-06 07:31

Passengers wait in line at a railway station in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Jan 17, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

On Sunday, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, Hubei province, closed its two runways, while several trains were suspended at the city's railway station. Passengers were advised not to go to the train station without a clear message stating otherwise.

And Wuhan is not the only place battling heavy rain and snow, which has hit 11 provincial-level regions and is believed to be the most challenging weather since 2008. With 9 billion passenger trips expected to be made during the Spring Festival holiday which starts on Saturday, the challenge of ensuring safe and smooth travel should not be underestimated.

About 80 percent of the trips during this year's Spring Festival travel rush are expected to be self-driving, and there are already reports of passengers being stranded on some highways and in service stations.

To help them, various departments of local governments and highway authorities need to strengthen their coordination to provide not only emergency services such as gas and food, but also precise traffic coordination and weather information so as to prevent more drivers from being trapped.

Especially, with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, it's essential to ensure the stable operation of the power grid and prevent widespread power failure in the extreme weather conditions, so as to lower the possibility of long queues at electricity charging posts.

For passengers stranded at train stations and airports due to train and flight delays, coordination between railway, aviation and other transport departments is essential so as to provide them with other choices such as buses. There should be targeted efforts to strengthen information and other supportive services to minimize passengers' anxiety.

While addressing these fundamental issues, it's crucial to draw lessons from similar events in the past. For instance, a key lesson that can be learned from 2008 is that highways should not be closed unless necessary.


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