GUANGZHOU: People returning home for Spring Festival can expect lengthy delays at train stations after the introduction of a new ID-based ticket booking system.
The Ministry of Railways announced that passengers would have to show their ID card or other recognized identity document when buying a train ticket at 37 railway stations in Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan and Guizhou provinces.
The system will be effective between Jan 30 and Feb 13.
Spring Festival, or the Lunar Chinese New Year holiday, starts on Feb 14. Scalpers have traditionally used this holiday to stockpile tickets and sell them at much higher prices.
The stations covered by the new system and managed by Guangzhou Railway Group include seven in Guangdong and 19 in the neighboring Hunan.
The Guangzhou Railway Group said the new system would greatly increase the difficulty in organizing transport and become a challenge to Spring Festival railway transport.
Travelers are urged to use the latest version of their ID card to speed up the checking process.