In China, millions are carpooling their way home for the holidays
In some ways, the Lunar New Year in China can resemble Thanksgiving in the US: Air travel becomes extremely expensive, and scoring a train ticket can involve a mad scramble.
In China, people have a third option: hitch-hike!
Didi Chuxing’s Hitch service matches car owners with commuters heading in the same direction. Unlike actual hitch-hiking, it’s not a free ride: Carpoolers pay a fare calculated by the app. But it’s cheaper than hiring your own taxi -- and unlike trains and planes, a Hitch driver will shuttle passengers from door to door.
The cab-hailing app says that more than 7 million people have already taken Hitch rides in the first 10 days (February 1-10) of the Lunar New Year travel period. That’s nearly half the number of domestic plane passengers.
Didi Chuxing says the longest ride during that period was nearly 1,500 miles -- about the same distance as travelling from Miami to Boston.
And humans weren’t the only commuters. According to the company, around 120,000 pets traveled on Hitch, following their owners home for the holidays.