Pyeongchang Olympics to Aggravate Holiday Traffic

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    February 13, 2018 12:23

    The annual Lunar New Year exodus is expected to peak on Thursday morning as Koreans head to their ancestral hometowns to spend the holidays with their family.

    The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Monday that a telephone survey of 9,000 households last month showed the mass migration to hometowns will peak Thursday morning, while the return to Seoul is forecast to reach the highest point on Friday.

    Drivers out on excursions are expected to jam freeways on Saturday. The ministry expects 32.74 million people to hit the highways this holiday season, 85.1 percent using their own cars.

    The government will waive highway toll fees from Thursday to Saturday. Some 26.2 percent of respondents said they plan to make their drive home on the days when the highways are toll-free.

    The ministry expects the average drive to and from people's hometowns to take 40 minutes longer in thick traffic. Thus the drive from Seoul to the southern port city of Busan is expected to take seven hours and 20 minutes, and to Gwangju six hours and 30 minutes.

    Due to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the drive from Seoul to the northeastern port city of Gangneung is expected to take five to seven hours and 30 minutes, between two to four hours longer than usual. 

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