BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Trips made via China's expressways are expected to increase 8 to 10 percent during the week-long Spring Festival holiday, which starts on Jan. 27, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Sunday.
From Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, small passenger cars will be exempt from toll fees on expressways nationwide, putting traffic pressure on expressways during holidays, said the MOT.
Expressways in certain areas, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, will see traffic congestion during the period, according to the MOT.
Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar new year, is the most important occasion for family reunions, placing a tremendous strain on trains, planes and automobiles, and leaving train tickets in scarce supply.
About 2.98 billion trips are expected to be made during "chunyun," the Spring Festival travel rush that lasts from Jan. 13 to Feb. 21, up slightly from a year ago, the National Development and Reform Commission said last week.
The phrase "chunyun," which means "spring transport," was first coined by the media in 1954 to describe heavy traffic around Spring Festival, according to China Railway Corp. archives.