|The government of HCM City has set a goal to rid the city of illegal passenger buses by the end of the year. — Photo vtv
HCM CITY (VNS) — The government of HCM City has set a goal to rid the city of illegal passenger buses by the end of the year.
For more than 10 years, unauthorised coaches have become a thorny issue for the city's transport sector, as they cause a loss of revenue for the city as they are cheaper than public buses.
The illegal buses are also unregulated and considered less safe than passenger buses authorised to operate by the city.
The issue was discussed by officials and representatives of transport enterprises at a conference in the city with the Ministry of Transport's Traffic Safety Department and Nguyen Huu Tin, the deputy chairman of city's People's Committee.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the city has 2,098 authorised coaches with fixed routes, 2,797 buses and 10,790 taxis. More than 12,465 coaches are used for tourist transport.
Thuong Thanh Hai, deputy director of Mien Dong (Eastern Region) Transprovincial Coach Station, was quoted as saying in Phap Luat (Law) newspaper that the number of coaches registering to use the station had fallen by 40 to 50 percent in recent years. Many of them had no longer registered in order to reduce costs as they must pay a fee.
In HCM City, more than 30 illegal coach stations and hundreds of coaches depart from the city to provinces, transporting more than 10,000 passengers.
Phan Thi Thu Hien, deputy head of the Ministry of Transport's Transportation Department, said the ministry was creating software to better regulate transportation and station management.
He said that differences in the Law of Transport and Law of Tourism had worsened the situation.
Le Hong Viet, deputy chief inspector of the city's Department of Transport, said passenger and cargo transport had developed quickly in HCM City as it is the country's major economic hub.
The illegal coaches had taken advantage of the discrepancies between the laws of transport and tourism, especially during holidays when transport demand increases.
Most unauthorised coach stations are located near markets, transprovincial coach stations and in some urban areas, Viet said.
Licensed coaches, however, collect and drop off passengers at bus terminals and other authorised spots.
Drivers of illegal coaches pick up passengers at spots near their homes or at sites that are listed on the internet, where riders look for information.
Major Huynh Trung Phong, deputy head of HCM City's Traffic Police, said that more inspections of illegal buses and sites would be carried out with the Inspectorate of the city's Department of Transport.
Since early this year, there have been 1,390 violations related to illegal coaches, Phong said.
Illegal bus drivers and owners earn high revenue as they do not pay a fee to use official stations or pay tax.
According to Le Trung Tinh, chair of the municipal Passenger Transport and Tourism Association, illegal coaches and stations not only create unfair competition in the transport sector but worsen public security in the locality, create losses to the State budget, and reduce the insurance or compensation benefits for passengers when accidents occur.
According to the city's Department of Transport, there are more than 100 transport enterprises that use passenger buses under official contracts or register buses for tourism purposes. — VNS