With several Chinese cities under lockdown, businesses closed, and residents staying home to avoid the coronavirus, travel within the country has dropped dramatically.
Huang Xin, a director of the China Railway Group, said daily average passenger numbers are down 80% from what they would typically be at this time of year.
Lunar New Year just passed — meaning these few weeks should be packed with travelers going home to celebrate, then returning to their cities of residence to continue work after the long public holiday.
But in the past 15 days, the Chinese railway has only sold an average of 1.2 million tickets a day — about a tenth of the original estimated figures, Huang Xin said.
Safety measures on trains: In response to the coronavirus outbreak, trains are only selling 50% of tickets available to make sure passengers can have one empty seat between them, Huang Xin said.
Trains and train stations are also sanitized and disinfected regularly, and passengers have their temperatures checked before boarding.