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City to clamp down on private coaches

Update: April, 04/2014 - 08:55

Many people in the city buy vans for personal use and end up renting them out to individuals and tourism companies, and there are around 13,000 of them, according to the city's Department of Transport.— Photo vnexpress

HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City is set to crack down on unauthorised private vehicles that illegally offer transportation to the public and tourists, officials said.

Many people in the city buy vans for personal use and end up renting them out to individuals and tourism companies, and there are around 13,000 of them, according to the city's Department of Transport.

They illegally sell tickets to passengers and ply to many destinations from HCM City.

"They are in the same business as licensed coaches operating from bus stations run by the city government," Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the department, said.

"Licensed coaches collect and drop off passengers at the bus terminals or other authorised spots.

"Illegal coaches pick up and drop off passengers at their office or any other spot demanded by passengers.

"This is convenient for passengers but causes traffic chaos."

But this also means licensed coaches lose customers, and they have often complained about this.

The number of vehicles operating at Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station has fallen by more than a half since 2010, while many of those still around have curtailed operations, according to Thuong Thanh Hai, the terminal's deputy director.

Most of the illegal coaches ply to central provinces like Phu Yen, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai just like the licensed ones operating out of Mien Dong.

Le Hong Van, deputy head of the department's Inspection Office, said it was often difficult to fine the illegal operators, explaining: "The city allows coach owners to rent out their vehicles. We cannot fine them."

Department officials called for regulations requiring a business signing a contract to transport 10 passengers upwards must report by email to the department about the duration of the contract, destinations, departure and arrival spots, and pick-up and drop sites.

"Transport businesses signing contracts with tourism companies are not allowed to sell tickets to passengers," Van said.

Thanh said: "Tourist coaches are prohibited from picking up and dropping off passengers at their offices and can do so only at designated sites." — VNS

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