|Buses stop at My Dinh Bus Station, Ha Noi. Transport enterprises are concerned about fees that they have to pay for their operations at bus stations. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI (VNS) — Transport enterprises are concerned about fees that they have to pay for their operations at bus stations.
A driver of a transport enterprise operating on the Ha Noi-Thai Nguyen route, who decline to give his name, said besides fixed fees like entrance fee and parking fee, enterprises have to pay more fees such as VND10,000 (40 cents) for the stations' guards whenever they depart the stations and commissions that station officials take from every fare.
Despite the fact that they are not very expensive, these fees burden the enterprises' expenses, he said.
A representative of an passenger transport enterprise in the central province of Nghe An said transport enterprises registered to operate on fixed routes faced obstacles in solving issues which emerged during the management of land lease service, cargo and passenger buses. Instead, such services should have been included in contracts signed with bus authorities, the representative told Tin tuc (News) newspaper.
There are 6 main inter-province bus stations in the capital city, namely My Dinh, Giap Bat, Gia Lam, Luong Yen, Yen Nghia, Nuoc Ngam. However, passengers and buses often concentrate on My Dinh, Giap Bat and Gia Lam stations for their convenience. This creates favourable conditions for the existence of unauthorised fees at bus stations.
The situation of illegal brokers supplicating passengers has been recorded at Giap Bat Bus Station, according to Tin Tuc (News) newspaper.
Illegal brokers usually appear at the waiting area of the bus stations. They often tell passengers that they are assistants and invite passengers to get on buses waiting in the bus station. Once they get the nod from the passengers, the brokers will receive VND5,000 (20 cent) per passenger.
The competition for profit of illegal brokers has led to confrontations and even fighting between brokers, causing disorder at bus stations.
A driver for Tam Hien transport firm which is operating on the Ha Noi-Thai Binh route said he had to pay VND10,000 (40 cents) per passenger for illegal brokers who are motorbike drivers.
The driver, who refused to give his name, explained to the newspaper that many passengers hesitate to go into the station to buy tickets and they often wait outside the station for buses to pass by. Some passengers asked motorbike drivers to drive them to fixed-route buses and pay money directly to drivers' assistants. Drivers and assistants agreed to let passengers pay money after getting on the buses to fill the seats, the driver said.
In reponse to questions about whether he knew about unauthorised fees at bus stations, Nguyen Tat Thanh, director of Giap Bat Bus Station, said transport firms just had to submit relevant procedures to the station's controllers and they did not have to have to pay any extra money or fees. He asked transport enterprises to coordinate with the bus station's authority for better management and to prevent negative phenomenon.
Thanh also blamed the hesitance of passengers to buy tickets at the bus station's ticket office for causing difficulties for the station's supervision.
"Once controllers detect violations, they have to report the incidences to the bus station's authorities who then identity violations and settle them in accordance with the station's regulations," said Nguyen Quoc Uy, director of My Dinh Bus Station.
However, due to the station's operations lasting from 4am to 12pm, buses still move slowly looking for extra passengers or illegal brokers appear, Uy said.
Nguyen Tung Anh, director of Ha Noi Bus Station Joint Stock Company said the company would boost its human resources to control and put an end to the collection of unauthorised fees at bus stations. Strict punishment would be imposed on any violation that the company detected, he said.
Anh attributed the loose management of local competent agencies to the existence of this problem.
If the issuance of regulations on fee collection is reviewed prudently and the supervision of bus operation is conducted in a serious and transparent manner, there will be no way for bus stations to abuse fee collection, he said.
"Only by reducing unreasonable fees, can transport enterprises improve their service quality and reduce fares so passengers enjoy the quality service compatible with the money they have to pay," Anh said.
Phan Thi Thu Hien, deputy head of the Department of Transport under the Transport Ministry said the emergence of unauthorised fees will have negative effects on fares for fixed route passenger buses.
She said the department will soon review and submit measures to minimise the collection of unauthorised fees to the Transport Ministry for approval. — VNS