Spring Festival travel rush is a phenomenon in China that population travel intensively surges in a short time around Chinese Spring Festival. This phenomenon, which is a special one in the urbanization process of China, brings a large traffic burden and various kinds of social problems, thereby causing widespread public concern. This study investigates the spatial-temporal characteristics of Spring Festival travel rush in 2015 through time series analysis and complex network analysis based on multisource big travel data derived from Baidu, Tencent, and Qihoo. The main results are as follows: First, big travel data of Baidu and Tencent obtained from location-based services might be more accurate and scientific than that of Qihoo. Second, two travel peaks appeared at five days before and six days after the Spring Festival, respectively, and the travel valley appeared on the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival travel network at the provincial scale did not have small-world and scale-free characteristics. Instead, the travel network showed a multicenter characteristic and a significant geographic clustering characteristic. Moreover, some travel path chains played a leading role in the network. Third, economic and social factors had more influence on the travel network than geographical location factors. The problem of Spring Festival travel rush will not be effectively improved in a short time because of the unbalanced urban-rural development and the unbalanced regional development. However, the development of the modern high-speed transport system and the modern information and communication technology can alleviate problems brought by Spring Festival travel rush. We suggest that a unified real-time traffic platform for Spring Festival travel rush should be established through the government's integration of mobile big data and the official authority data of the transportation department.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited