Car-pooling Offers Travel Alternative for Spring Festival Rush

2016-01-27 09:28:26 | From:

File photo of Didi Chuxing, China's biggest car-pooling app. [Photo: Baidu]

With air and rail tickets in high demand during the travel rush, car-pooling has emerged as an alternative method for Chinese travelers during the Spring Festival holidays.

CRI's Min Rui has more.


Zhang Yu, from Shanghai, has plans to visit cities across the country during the Spring Festival holiday.

He is using a new car-pooling service to give rides to others who plan to travel during the holiday.

"It would be good if I can share my car with other people and earn some money to pay for the gas. I don't expect to make a lot of money as the apps won't let you do that. They only let you earn money to cover the cost of gas. I will be satisfied if the money covers 80 to 100 percent of the cost on gas."

The service has been launched by China's biggest car-pooling app, Didi Chuxing.

It allows people to post or book their hitchhiking trips up to 30 days ahead of their departure.

The cost of a short-distance trip using the service is slightly higher than that of a high-speed railway ticket, but it is cheaper to use the service for long-distance trips.

Wang Mingze with the service provider is optimistic about the idea.

"In the past, people would buy plane tickets if train tickets were sold out, and they would buy bus tickets if plane tickets were sold out. But what if bus tickets are also sold out? We provide a new model this year. We believe more people will use our service as the Spring Festival draws near. So far, most of the orders are from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and some second-tier cities."

However, some are skeptical about the car-pooling service.

"Personally, a train ticket is my top choice."

"I think it is awkward to share a car with strangers. In addition, there might be safety issues."

The Ministry of Transport says it welcomes the car-pooling service during the Spring Festival travel rush as long as the internet platform provides the service without charge to either drivers or passengers.

It is estimated that about 2.9 billion trips will be made via the country's public transport system during the 40-day travel rush.

For CRI, this is Min Rui.

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