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Hainan announces proactive measures to manage Spring Festival traffic

Updated: Feb 8, 2024 By CHEN BOWEN in Haikou Print
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Since the beginning of this year's Spring Festival travel rush on Jan 26, the Qiongzhou Strait has been bustling with vehicles. Fog and wind occasionally pose challenges for the already-busy cross-strait traffic.

To accommodate the high volume of vehicles leaving the island, Xinhai Port and Xiuying Port in Haikou, South China's Hainan province, are making proactive adjustments by expanding car parking space and increasing the availability of off-the-island ferry tickets in real-time, according to the Ministry of Transport.

During the initial 10 days of the Spring Festival travel rush, the Qiongzhou Strait has seen 1,169,700 passengers and 273,100 vehicles traveling in and out of the island, an annual increase of 31.8 percent and 17 percent, respectively, said Liu Peng, deputy director of the Hainan Provincial Department of Transportation, at a press conference held on Monday.

He noted that travel activity on both sides of the Qiongzhou Strait has maintained a high level this year, with a notable increase in the proportion of large trucks compared to previous years. Even with ships and ports operating at full capacity, almost 6,000 vehicles queue up on the south coast during peak times.

Liu highlighted that, through collaborative efforts, emergency transport measures have yielded significant results. By 2 pm on Monday, the number of vehicles waiting to cross from Haikou's three ports has decreased from 6,000 to 1,513. Additionally, the waiting time for passenger cars departing from the south coast to the island has been reduced to less than three hours.

The regular ferry ticket sales for off-island car travel, including fuel vehicles and new energy vehicles, at Xinhai Port and Xiuying Port are scheduled from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily for the next 24 hours, according to the public WeChat account Qiongzhou Strait Ferry Manager.

Furthermore, this Monday, Xinhai Port will introduce a new ferry service for new energy vehicles departing from the island. This additional ferry will complement the existing two departures at 10:30 and 20:30.

Feng Fei, Party secretary of Hainan, emphasized the importance of fostering a robust service-oriented mindset, streamlining the cross-strait transportation reservation system, achieving precise loading and enhancing ferry transport efficiency during his visit to Haikou's Xinhai Port to assess cross-strait transportation operations on Sunday.

Xiuying district in Haikou has set up four volunteer service stations to provide round-the-clock assistance for waiting drivers around the Ports, including offering water, porridge and notice cards.

"We make efforts to ensure basic necessities such as water, electricity, night lighting, and public toilets in the waiting areas, ensure the service of cleaning, vehicle guidance, and order maintenance, and set up medical assistance service points in the Xinhai Port, contributing to the well-being and ease of travel for passengers," said Li Zhongbiao, deputy secretary-general of Haikou Municipal government.

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