China’s Freeway Will Be Truly Free during Spring Festival Holiday – No Tolls

Chinese who drive to join their families for the upcoming Spring Festival has one additional reason to celebrate – there will no freeway tolls to pay.

By a policy announced by China’s Ministry of Transportation, toll stations on freeways nationwide will allow automobiles to get through free of charge during the six days from February 9 to February 15. The exemption allies to vehicles with up to seven seats. February 9 is the eve of the Spring Festival this year.

The toll-free policy was previously implemented for the National Day (October 1) holiday of 2012. That time, so many vehicles got on roads that serious traffic jams caused long delays in many parts of the country. Officials predict that this time around situation should be different because the Spring Festival holiday is longer and traveling will spread out more evenly.

Whereas freeway mileage in China has increased significantly in recent years, most of the newly added highways, including some highways that have been in existence for years, are subject to tolls. Rates are relatively high – for a family car, a trip of 500 km on a way can result in ¥250 (about $40) in tolls.