As the novel coronavirus epidemic in Shanxi begins to come under control, the province's public transportation is gradually getting back to normal, according to the local traffic authority.

Sources from the Shanxi Department of Transportation said that public highway passenger transportation services from Taiyuan, the provincial capital, to other cities and counties in Shanxi resumed last week.

On March 5, passengers lined up at the entrance to the Taiyuan Jiannan Bus Passenger Terminal, waiting for health checks by terminal employees before setting off to long-awaited destinations.

A passenger named Pei Yanglin couldn't hide his excitement.

Pei and his wife, residents in Yangquan county, visited their son in Taiyuan before Spring Festival.

His original plan was to look after his grandson during the first days of the winter vacation and then take the whole family back to Yangquan for the Spring Festival reunion.

However, the scheduled trip was delayed by the novel coronavirus outbreak for more than a month.

"I missed my pets and flowers in Yangquan," Pei said.

"When I learned that local emergency response was adjusted from level one to level two and bus services resumed, I knew it was time to go back home," he added.

Excited as they were, Pei and his wife waited in the well-spaced line. On the bus they were asked to be seated at a required distance from each other.

"The resumption of long-distance bus services is a good signal, showing that the epidemic is likely to be over in the near future and everything will be back to normal," said Cao Qing, a passenger about to travel by bus to Zuoquan county in the east of the province.

Amid the outbreak of the virus, public transportation was among the biggest hit in Shanxi.

According to Wang Jin, deputy chief of the Shanxi Department of Transportation, with the lowering of the emergency level, the long-distance public transportation sector can gradually get back to normal.

"We are resuming operations according to the risk levels in various regions," Wang said.

The official said transportation services are now fully open to low-risk regions, which included 109 counties and cities.

And services for the remaining eight medium-risk regions are likely to resume in the near future, Wang said, adding that there are no high-risk regions in Shanxi province currently.

Despite the epidemic seemingly more under control, Wang said transportation companies are required to take strict preventative measures.

"For instance, buses should be disinfected on a daily basis and passengers are asked to wear masks," Wang said.

For inner-city passenger transportation, bus companies have adopted new ways of operation to avoid contagion.

For instance, Taiyuan Public Transportation Group is providing chartered buses for passengers working at certain local companies.

"The point-to-point chartered bus service is a safe way for passenger transportation and it can avoid cross contagion as passenger health conditions and travel history are traceable," said Chen Yunfang, a staff member of Taiyuan Public Transportation Group.

In the railway sector, train services are resuming in a considered manner.

"For the safety of passengers, the occupancy of every train is capped at 50 percent," said Liu Feng, an executive at the Taiyuan bureau of China Railways.

Civil aviation is also getting back to normal with Taiyuan Airport open to 74 air routes linking 49 cities in China, according to Deng Baoping, deputy chairman of Shanxi Aviation Industry Group.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.