|A bus waits to pick up passengers at Long Bien bus station in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — An online conference was organized by the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday to discuss measures for modernising the country's bus stations and improving their quality of service.
Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said that in accordance with the country's standards, bus stations must integrate a variety of transport services, such as running short and long-distance buses and taxis.
However, many of the country's bus stations failed to meet those criteria, especially those located in remote and mountainous areas.
The minister said there was a gap in the quality of services rendered at the old and the newly renovated stations, with the latter having been improved and operated under a public-private partnership model.
In addition, local agencies and authorities had failed to co-ordinate efforts in planning and managing bus stations in the respective territories.
Poorly enforced regulations and the lack of an effective control mechanism had contributed to the rampant unfair business practices employed by these makeshift and illegal stations.
Tho pointed out that inefficiency in traffic route planning was another shortcoming of traffic authorities. "Some stations were overcrowded, while others were experiencing less traffic, compared with capacity," he said. "It is well within the scope of the authority's ability to regulate traffic, but we have still failed to figure out an effective arrangement."
Representatives from bus stations also voiced their concerns over the lack of consistency and transparency in traffic route planning.
"Public-private model stations were dependant on the city's long-term traffic route planning for operation and returns on investment. Sudden changes in the city's planning have placed us in a difficult situation," the Director of the Ha Noi-based Nuoc Ngam Bus Station Nguyen Van Lap said.
The President of the Viet Nam Automobile Transportation Association, Nguyen Van Thanh, urged the country's traffic authority to formulate more policies to encourage and support bus stations built with the public-private model, as well as to adopt measures to improve transparency during the planning process.
There are 478 bus stations across the country. Of these, 213 were equitised or became entirely privately-owned. — VNS