|Passengers wait for buses at a station at Ha Noi's Nguyen Van Cu Street. Only 17 per cent of the city's bus stations have shelters. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
HA NOI (VNS) — Only 17 per cent of the capital's bus stations had shelters, according to Luong Duc Thinh, vice director of the Urban Transport Management Centre under the Department of Transport.
He cited limited funds as the reason for not building enough shelters at bus stops.
"It will cost hundreds of millions of dong to build these shelters, so investors only build them on crowded streets where advertisements are easy to sell," Thinh said.
The majority of the city's bus stop shelters can be found downtown on busy streets where advertisements are more effective. However, just out of the city centre bus stops do not have shelters.
Nguyen Thi Hoa was waiting to go home at the bus stop at 75 Dai Co Viet after her shift at a nearby restaurant.
It was already 4.30pm and the sun was still beating down while she stood waiting, and there were no trees to offer some shade.
"I have to stay here or I might miss my bus. I know it's really hot but what can I do?" said Hoa.
She said even a simple shelter would make it easier for people who took the bus, especially when it rained. The big trees have been cut down and busy shopkeepers on the street are sometimes unwilling to let strangers take shelter in their shops.
Another reason is that residents do not want shelters in front of their houses. In Ha Noi, most houses on the streets are used for business purposes.
"We have tried many times to persuade residents to give their consent for shelters to be built in front of their houses," Thinh explained.
Thinh said that the shortage of bus stop shelters was a real inconvenience for bus passengers, especially during the summer, and he assured that the centre would work on solutions to build more bus shelters in the city.
He said the only solution for the time being was to call for investment from the private sector, but that would be difficult because they would not want to invest on the outskirts of the city.
Deputy director general of transportation company Transerco, Nguyen Hoang Trung, noted the installment of bus stop shelters would have a positive impact on the city's attitude toward public bus services.
Trung said bus stop shelters could help sway residents from other means of transportation, especially during hot summer days.
The city currently has some 2,210 bus stops, but only 372 have shelters. — VNS