The streets of Beijing were nearly deserted and the subway stations uncomfortably calm today as residents hightailed it out of the smoggy capital towards greener pastures for the approaching Chinese New Year holiday.
Images of the capital, previously named the second-most congested city in China and awarded as having the nation’s worst commute, looked uncharacteristically empty but for a few lone cars scattered on the streets.
Transportation peaked in major cities across the nation yesterday as millions flocked home for the Lunar New Year Eve tomorrow.
Chunyun, the hectic travel period surrounding the Spring Festival, is also known as the world’s largest human migration. More than 80 million trips were made by high-speed rail on Monday alone, and an estimated 2.8 billion of such trips will be made throughout the whole holiday.
Beijing West Railway saw more than 420,000 travelers leaving or traveling through on Monday, with the last large bulk of travelers setting off today.
Meanwhile, the city will experience severely polluted weather five out of seven days during the holiday due to high temperatures, low wind and celebratory fireworks galore.