China launches ID-based rail ticket systemJanuary 22nd, 2010 - 12:03 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Jan 22 (IANS) China has launched a new system to issue railway tickets based on passengers’ identity, a move aimed at curbing illegal ticket sales during the peak travel season of Chinese New Year.
The scheme to sell railway tickets based on proven IDs began Thursday in south China. The first real-name ticket was booked by phone, sources with the ticket booking system of Guangzhou Railway Group (GRG) said.
The system was initially adopted for trains between Guangdong and inland provinces of Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou and Chongqing Municipality, home to millions of migrant workers in Guangdong who will rush back for the Spring Festival holiday, Xinhua reported.
The Chinese railway ministry estimated it would serve 210 million passengers, up 9.5 percent from last year, during the 40-day festival period. This year’s Chinese Lunar New Year falls on Feb 14.
The supply of railway tickets in China often fails to meet demand. Every year during the Spring Festival exodus, many people fail to obtain tickets from authorised outlets and are forced to buy them from scalpers.
The new system is aimed at making ticket purchase more convenient and fairer without price hike, as travellers can book 10 days in advance by phone and get tickets from booths in railway stations or ticket agencies.
GRG is expected to transport 24.9 million travellers during the festival peak, or 623,000 passengers a day, up 6.8 percent from previous year, said Cao Jianguo, GRG’s deputy manager.
The new procedure would prevent long queues at railway stations because most of the communication is by phone, said Huang Xin, head of GRG’s passenger transport section.
Meanwhile, authorities launched a fresh crackdown Thursday against ticket reselling ahead of the Festival.
Police have been asked to strengthen cooperation with railways departments in cracking down on scalpers. The campaign will be carried out till March 10.
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Tags: chinese lunar new year, chinese new year, chinese railway, deputy manager, festival period, grg, guizhou, huang xin, lunar new year, passenger transport, peak travel season, rail ticket, railway group, railway stations, south china, spring festival, ticket agencies, ticket booking, ticket system, transport section