|A traffic jam on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, HCM City. Major bus stations in Ha Noi and HCM City will add more buses to meet increasing demand during Tet, which falls in mid-February. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh
HA NOI (VNS) — Major bus stations in Ha Noi and HCM City will add more buses to meet increasing demand during Tet, which falls in mid-February, 2015.
Transport demand is expected to increase by 30 to 50 per cent during Tet. Nguyen Tung Anh, director of the Ha Noi Bus Station Company, said it planned to add 3,400 extra bus and coach trips.
At Giap Bat station in Hai Ba Trung District, the number of passengers was expected to reach 25,000 to 30,000 per day during Tet. An estimated 1,150 trips would be made each day to meet demand, he said.
At My Dinh station in Cau Giay District, around 1,550 trips would be made each day to meet the increased number of passengers: 30,000 to 35,000 per day.
Anh said the company had instructed transport firms to take measures to ensure passengers' safety and to not increase ticket prices.
Unqualified or overloaded coaches, as well as those with drunk drivers, would not be allowed to run, he said.
To ensure traffic safety and prevent traffic jams during Tet, Nguyen Quoc Hung, the vice chairman of Ha Noi People's Committee, has instructed the municipal transport department to work with police to increase inspections, especially in inner districts and on national highways. More police would be also assigned to monitor congested areas and help traffic run smoothly, he said.
Kieu Nam Thanh, general director of the Mien Tay (West) Bus Station in HCM City, said 28,000-30,000 passengers were expected every day during the holidays, 25-30 per cent higher than on normal days.
The routes with the highest demand would be to Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces, he said.
The station would take buses off uncrowded routes and operate them on those with large demand, he said.
It has sought permission from the Department of Transport to use buses running within the city for inter-provincial services if it cannot meet demand otherwise, he said.
The Mien Dong (East) Bus Station estimated the number of passengers to increase by 10-20 per cent.
The spike in passenger numbers is expected to be particularly sharp on Wednesday and on buses to Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, and Da Lat, which are popular tourist destinations.
Meanwhile, the HCM City Public Passenger Transport Operation and Management Centre plans to add more than 1,300 trips to the normal schedule to the city's bus stations, amusement places, and neighbouring provinces during the holidays.
Services on school and university routes would be reduced or suspended, the centre said.
Le Huu Chau, director of the HCM City Bridge and Ferry Works One-Member Co Ltd, said the Cat Lai Ferry Station would operate around the clock on Thursday.
The station, which transports passengers from HCM City's District 2 to Dong Nai Province's Nhon Trach District, will press into use all 13 of its ferries, including ones that can carry 100-200 tonnes.
"If the number of passengers increases by too much, we will increase the number of trips by 60-tonne ferries," Chau said.
These ferry trips are estimated to increase from 180 on normal days to 250 on the holiday.
The Binh Khanh Ferry Station between Can Gio and Nha Be Districts expects a 30 per cent increase in trips to serve 26,000 passengers every day.
The Sai Gon Railway Station will operate more trains to Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, and Quy Nhon starting with three additional ones on Wednesday to Nha Trang and Quy Nhon. — VNS