HA NOI (VNS)— A bus priority lane will be set up on National Highway 1A in Ha Noi at the end of this year as part of a major project to improve public transportation in the capital.
The move is the initiative of the Department of Transport with technical co-operation coming from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The proposed route is planned to cover the section from Ha Noi Railway Station to Cau Gie, in the Phu Xuyen Commune of Thanh Tri District, a stretch nearing 36 kilometers in length.
According to Takagi Michimasa, chief advisor of the project, buses will share the same lane as motorcycles but be separate from the car lane.
Priority will be given to buses via traffic signs and lights.
The pilot route will be divided into three sections, in which the bus priority lane will be set up in the section from Kim Lien Tunnel to Vinh Quynh Commune in Thanh Tri District.
In the sections from Ha Noi Railway Station to Kim Lien Tunnel and from Vinh Quynh Commune to Cau Gie in Thanh Tri District, buses will not be given priority over other vehicles, but the city will facilitate bus users by upgrading bus stops.
Two large parking areas will also be built in Thuong Tin District and Cau Gie Commune allowing passengers to leave their vehicles and travel by bus to the inner city.
"With this priority measure, the travelling speed of buses on the route will increase by 5-10 per cent," Nguyen Van Truong, an expert working on the project, told Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper, adding that the new lane would also help reduce traffic congestion and accidents.
The pilot programme has been developed after many surveys of all the city's bus routes conducted by the project's organizers.
The findings indicated that route number 6 - the only one connecting Ha Noi's southern districts with the city centre - had buses running from 5am to 9pm every day with 10 minute intervals.
Despite this frequency, results showed the buses on the route were usually overcrowded in peak hours, at weekends, and on holidays. —VNS