arirang mobile

Mass exodus begins on eve of Seollal holiday
Updated: 2020-01-23 16:26:53 KST
Now shifting our focus to the traffic updates here in the nation As people hit the road for the four-day Lunar New Year holiday that begins tomorrow heavy congestions are expected at major highways from tonight.
And tens of millions of Koreans will be traveling in the next few days, most of them leaving Seoul for their hometowns.
Our Eum Ji-young is out at the Seoul Tollgate for us tonight.
How are things looking for those heading out of the capital this evening?

Hi Daeun, I'm here at the Seoul Tollgate, where traffic is building up by the minute because this is where the nation's major expressways branch off to most parts of the country.
The four-day Seollal holiday starts tomorrow for most people, but it's a little short this year, so many are starting on their journey a day early.
In the early afternoon, relatively light for a holiday, but since about 6 PM, it's been very congested.
According to the Korea Expressway Corporation, about 480-thousand cars are expected to head out of the capital area by tonight.
Nationwide, it is expected that over 4.7 million people will be on the nation's highways by Thursday, which about half of the population of Seoul.
Earlier, I spoke with some people heading home. Take a listen.

"Because this year's Seollal holiday is relatively short, I'm going to my hometown ahead of time."

"I thought it would be jammed tomorrow but the traffic today is pretty bad."

The actual day of Seollal falls on Saturday, so the mass migration looks certain to intensify over the weekend. How much traffic are we expecting?

The nation's traffic agency says people can expect bumper-to-bumper traffic Friday morning. Traffic will also be bad Saturday afternoon as people come back to the capital.
The Korea Transport Institute estimates that about 88 percent of people will be hitting the road at some point.
Up to 6 million people are expected to be on the highway on the actual day of Seollal, up 2.6 percent on-year.
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport says it will take up to 8 hours and 10 minutes to get from Seoul to Busan, which on an ordinary day takes about 5 hours.
To Daejeon and Gangneung it will take roughly 4 hours and 20 minutes each, which is about twice the normal time.
The traffic authorities will provide free wifi at more than 190 service stations and 275 rest areas and bus stops so that travelers can follow the traffic information on their smartphones.
That's all for now, but I'll bring you more updates in the later newscast.
Reporter : jy_rachel@arirang.com