HA NOI — Construction of the first two rapid-transit bus routes will begin in Ha Noi next month to improve transport infrastructure and reduce traffic congestion.
The US$115 million project is being undertaken by the city's Transport Department with a loan from the World Bank.
The first route over 17km will start at Ba Dinh District's Giang Vo Street and end at Ha Dong District's Yen Nghia Bus Station.
The 11km second route will start at Thanh Tri District's Van Dien Township and end at Hoan Kiem District's Hoan Kiem Lake.
According to the World Bank, the project was to have begun in 2008, but was delayed for three years. Disbursement so far amounts to $21.8 million.
Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the department, said difficulties in land clearance and changes in the city's administrative border were to blame for the delay.
Nguyen The Thao, chairman of the city People's Committee, said the two bus-rapid-transit routes were expected to open at the beginning of next year.
Statistics from the Ministry of Transport show that Ha Noi now has more than 1200 buses running on 84 routes and carrying 1.1 million of passengers daily.
Meanwhile, inspections will be carried out on coaches in Ha Noi, HCM City, Can Tho, Hai Phong and central Nghe An Province from this month until late October.
Nguyen Xuan Hao, chief inspector of the ministry, said the move was being made because of media reports about violations on inter-provincial coaches.
He said this was the first time large-scale inspections had been planned. — VNS