|Passengers board a bus in HCM City. The city plans to install surveillance cameras to prevent sexual harassment and theft on buses. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan
HA NOI (VNS) — HCM City plans to install surveillance cameras to prevent sexual harassment and theft on buses, according to the city's Public Transport Management and Operations Centre.
The move has been put forward after many commuters complained about bus services, especially sexual harassment and theft. Commuters, including students, suggested installing surveillance cameras to cope with the situation.
A representative from the centre said that most bus and coach companies supported the idea to install cameras on their vehicles. Three cameras would be installed on each bus, including two inside and one at the front of the bus.
Companies are scheduled to start installing cameras on existing vehicles in the third quarter of this year.
New vehicles that belong to the city would have camera's installed before they hit the streets, according to the centre.
The cost will amount to VND13 million ($600) for camera installation on each bus and VND400,000 ($19) per month to operate them, so companies plan to ask for the city's support.
Chairman of the May 19 Bus Co-operative Nguyen Van Trieu said that cameras would help improve the quality of bus services, supervising numbers and the driver and conductor.
The co-operative has already installed cameras on 51 buses running on route 33 from An Suong Station to Suoi Tien and the HCM City National University. The remaining vehicles will be ready by the end of next year. The co-operative currently has total 430 buses running on 18 routes.
The city currently has nearly 2,800 buses operating on 107 subsidised routes and 400 buses running on 32 non-subsidised routes.
A small survey of 2,046 people in Ha Noi and HCM City conducted by the National Steering Traffic Safety Committee showed that 31 per cent of students had beensexually harassed on buses. Other public areas where women are harassed are often stations, parks and bus stops.
HCM City also plans to have its first modern bus rapid transit system in HCM City is expected to be ready by the end of 2018, according to the official entrusted with setting it up.
Luong Minh Phuc, head of the HCM City Urban Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority (UCCI), which will develop the first BRT, said by the end of next year his agency would complete a detailed design, offer bids for contracts and work with local authorities to acquire land.
Work on the first line is scheduled to begin in early 2017, he said.
Recently the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved a US$124 million plan to improve the performance and efficiency of public transport in the city.
The bank is funding a project to develop BRT systems in three major cities: HCM City, Ha Noi, and Da Nang.
HCM City's first line will be on the Vo Van Kiet-Mai Chi Tho highway, connecting An Lac intersection in Binh Tan District and Rach Chiec in District 2, a distance of 28 kilometres, and have 28 stations.
It will be able to transport 28,300 passengers a day.
Its design will factor in the needs of women, children and people with disabilities, comprising features like keeping bus and station floors at the same level so that passengers can board and alight and load strollers easily.
The project will also fund at least 28 buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG), a clean fuel.
The project will cost $137.45 million, which will include a loan of $124 million from the World Bank. The rest will be provided by the Government.
HCM City is also working on five other BRT lines that will complete the public transport system, according to UCCI. — VNS