|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc inspects the My Dinh bus station on February 09.
HA NOI (VNS) – Authorities in the capital city have undertaken special measures to cope with the overcrowding and chaos at train and bus stations ahead of the Lunar New Year.
The surge in traffic at bus and train stations is being attributed to growing transport demand from city residents in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year festivities.
Overcrowding at both the My Dinh and Giap Bat bus stations is being managed better, compared with last year.
The My Dinh bus station started receiving 35,000 to 40,000 passengers a day after its operational area was expanded to 3.2 hectares. The station is striving to target building a safe, cultural and respected station and a passenger service model.
In addition to the expansion of the station, Nguyen Phi Thanh, Deputy Director of My Dinh Management Enterprises, said traffic organisation at the station and in the surrounding areas has been well managed, helping residents being transported quickly, conveniently and safely.
In the past, there was only one gate for the entrance and exit. Therefore, coaches, taxis and passengers used the same entrance, causing a traffic jam and disorder. Since the beginning of this year, the entrance and exit have been separated, putting an end to the chaos and scenes of motorbikes and taxi drivers clinging to the side of the coaches to pick up passengers at the station.
This year, the station has also installed free wi-fi for passengers; creating favourable conditions for them and helping them conveniently choose which branded bus service they want to use for travelling to their hometowns for Tet.
The station also plans to add 200 more vehicles to clear the blockade of passengers during the peak traffic days.
Passengers who transit through the My Dinh bus station can recognise the remarkable change after the station was expanded and reorganised.
In contrast with the chaos of the past, the station has now become spacious and convenient for passengers, said Nguyen Bich Lien from Ha Noi's Tay Ho District, who often uses the station to take a bus to Thai Binh—her husband's hometown.
Instead of price hikes, which were common during previous years, the price of a ticket for a bus from Ha Noi to the Thai Binh Province has actually been reduced by VND10,000 (US$0.46) despite the fact that Tet is approaching, she pointed out.
Although the amount of passengers going through the Giap Bat station is not as high as the My Dinh station, it has been growing. It is estimated that normally around 20,000 people transit through the station daily and the number could rise to 30,000 in the coming days.
According to Nguyen Tat Thanh, director of the Giap Bat Station Management Enterprise, its management board has co-ordinated with relevant authorities for strengthening management during the peak traffic days; assigning responsibilities to them for regulating the traffic from a distance and ensuring that order surrounds the resting areas and ticketing offices.
The Giap Bat station has received applications for air ticket reduction from 96 enterprises out of 149 transport enterprises, which had registered for a price reduction of between 3 and 16 per cent.
To prevent a traffic jam at the stations and make travel more favourable for residents, Ha Noi plans to employ 35 cars to transport poor people and workers to their homeland for the Tet holiday free of charge, said Nguyen Hoang Linh, deputy Director of the Ha Noi Transport Department. The city has also devised a scheme to dispatch coaches to pick up workers and students at dormitories and from industrial zones.
Ha Noi authorities are also conducting inspections of price tickets at stations and in vehicles, and have established a hotline for passengers, who can provide information about a bus owner's collections and complain if ticket prices are not in keeping with regulations.
After inspecting the My Dinh station on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the efforts of the station staff in improving the station's activity and addressed some of the shortcomings, such as overcrowding and how public order and traffic safety can be ensured.
The Prime Minister also asked the Ha Noi Transport Department and bus stations to arrange for vehicles so that all residents can return home for Tet. He directed them to avoid a situation, where unregistered cars are allowed to operate at the stations, due to which residents face difficulty while travelling. --VNS