Should highways charge tolls on New Year's Eve?
The decision of a number of Chinese provinces to continue charging tolls on their highways this Chinese New Year's Eve because the day is not an official public holiday, has drawn serious complaints from the public.
Days ago, media reports that northeast China's Heilongjiang province would operate its highways toll-free for three days starting from Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve (January 30), was warmly welcomed by public, who praised the policy for being people-friendly.
Unfortunately, however, the Heilongjiang provincial highway management bureau clarified on Tuesday that the media had misunderstood their statements and they have to wait for the official policy from the Ministry of Transport.
The news has cast a damp over the public enthusiasm. As New Year's Eve marks one of the most important days in the year for Chinese people to reunite with their family members, most people prefer to return home before or on the day.
A survey conducted by the China Youth Daily newspaper on more than 2,500 netizens showed that almost 90 percent of respondents complained about the heavy burden brought by the country's highway toll costs and 78 percent believe the fee is too high.
Some netizens have said that they will travel home by train because the highways will not be free this New Year's Eve.
This has led to even more crowding on trains during the busy travel period.（English.people.com.cn)