HCM CITY (VNS)— Many subsidised bus routes in HCM City will be suspended because of their ineffectiveness, according to a recent announcement from the HCM City Passenger Transport Management Centre.
The centre plans to suspend four routes this year.
According to the centre, route no. 111 between the District 8 coach station and An Suong coach station will be suspended on March 1. Route no. 143 between Cho Lon bus station and the Binh Hung Hoa residential area was stopped on February 1.
Route no. 26 between Mien Dong coach station and An Suong coach station and route no. 50 linking Polytechnic University and National University will also be suspended in the second quarter of this year.
In the future, any subsidised bus route deemed ineffective will be suspended.
At a recent meeting at the HCM City Department of Transport, Le Hai Phong, director of the Passenger Transport Management Center, suggested that the city create new bus lanes, replace old buses, and build three free parking lots for passengers.
This year, the centre will consider the issue seriously and propose that the HCM City Department of Transport open several bus lanes, including one on Phan Dinh Tung Street (Phu Nhuan District) after the completion of Kieu Bridge and Nguyen Kiem Street (from Nguyen Thai Son Street to the Go Vap intersection).
Recently, more than 3,000 buses on 200 routes (110 routes of which receive a subsidy from the city) meet only 10.7 per cent of the transport demand in the city, while the budget to subsidise bus services has increased each year.
The subsidy amount was VND1.27 trillion (US$60.4 million) in 2011, VND1.289 trillion ($61.4 million) in 2012 and VND1.39 trillion ($66.2 million) last year.
HCM City targets a total of 650 million people to travel by bus this year (624.9 million in 2013, an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to 2012).
According to a bus development project in the 2011-15 period, the city will buy 1,680 new buses for nearly VND2 trillion ($95.2 million). — VNS